EcoMobility World Festival 2015, Johannesburg

The EcoMobility World Festival 2015 in Johannesburg

By organising the 2015 Festival, the City of Johannesburg aimed at enabling behavioural change from private car use towards ecomobility and to kick start the process of decongesting Sandton, the main business district of South Africa.  The City wanted to showcase infrastructural interventions to promote ecomobility; promote Johannesburg as a cycle friendly city; show and promote non-motorized and alternatively powered vehicles as means of mobility; increase the patronage of Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport, Metrobus and other forms of quality public transport; show the benefits of reduced congestion and ecomobility for productivity, quality of life, air quality, emission standards; and promote walking and cycling as part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

The three main features of the ecomobility month were:

  1. A bold Campaign “Change the way you move” targeted commuters to experience other modes of transport like public transport, park-and-ride facilities, walk and bicycle, rather than using their cars. Through inclusive and a consultative approach, various stakeholders were included in preparing for the month-long Festival.
  2. A month-long Urban Reality Lab, included the closure of certain streets, connection to the Rea Vaya bus rapid transport system, introduction of managed priority lanes, restructuring of traffic flows, installation of bicycle lanes, enhanced train and bus services and more.
  3. A participatory and responsive management approach for the Festival included measures to motivate citizens, alter traffic flows, adjust public transport operations as needed, and conduct public debates via social and traditional media.

Results of the EcoMobility World Festival 2015

The Festival saw significant changes in the way commuters moved around Sandton CBD, one of the most congested areas in the city. The City’s evaluation has identified the following achievements:

• Through measures such as dedicated public transport lanes and ten park-and-ride facilities, the Festival successfully reduced the percentage of private cars usage in Sandton by 22% during the month-long ecomobility challenge according to the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO).

• The metropolitan rapid rail network, Gautrain, increased its ridership by 8.1% and 9.7% in between July 2015 and October 2015 respectively.

• Compared to a survey done in 2013, five times more people walked along West Street, the street adjoining the Gautrain Station, during the Festival.

• People using park-and-ride facilities reported savings of 15 minutes in their regular commute.

• Arising from a partnership with the mini bus taxi industry, 100 taxis provided free mini bus taxi services as feeders in and around Sandton, as well as from four park and ride sites.

• Social media disseminated the Festival news globally. The twitter hashtag #joburgecomobility had approximately 26 million impressions.

The City of Johannesburg is implementing ten legacy projects to translate the temporary transport experiments into concrete measures that will shape the city’s mobility future. The legacy projects are also embedded in Johannesburg’s continuing efforts to reshape the city, as envisioned in the “Corridors of Freedom” master plan.

The focus of the legacy is the provision of efficient public transport, the promotion of walking and cycling, and the construction of accessible transportation infrastructure. All measures together aim on providing a comprehensive multi-modal transport system, which targets a shift in attitudes and behaviour away from private vehicle usage towards walking, cycling and using public transport for most trips in and out of Sandton.

Legacy projects focusing on Sandton and its surroundings include:

• Enhancement of walking and cycling infrastructure: Wider sidewalks and dedicated cycle lanes will be constructed in both directions of the Sandton CBD main streets to ensure safety and comfort to a larger number of pedestrians and new cycle lanes between the Sandton CBD and neighbouring districts will be created.

• The construction of a 5 km dedicated cycling and walking lane between Alexandra township and the CBD on a dedicated bridge shall be completed by the mid 2017 to provide safe and dignified route for 10,000 pedestrians who use it daily.

• Permanent public transport loop: The temporary public transport lanes in the Sandton CBD will be converted into permanent structures. Commuter shelters will enhance safety.

• Dedicated lanes for high occupancy vehicles: About 10 km of permanent contraflow lanes along main roads for buses, mini bus taxis and car pools will be introduced in 2016. This can reduce travel in the peak hours for public transport users by up to 30 minutes.

The Declaration contains a commitment by local governments and a call for action and support by other spheres of government on the following:

  • Recognition of “Ecomobility” as integrated, socially inclusive and environmentally friendly transport options, giving priority to walking and cycling, public transport and shared mobility, as well as green freight.
  • Transition to ecomobility will bring multiple benefits for people, cities and the planet: reduction in GHG emissions, new quality of public space, social integration, well-being and public health, increased access to services, cost savings, job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Adopt urban mobility policies that replace automobile-centred cities with people-friendly cities. Plan for compact cities with Transit Oriented Development. Reclaim street space for multifunctional uses.
  • Prioritize quick low cost measures; develop and implement long-term ecomobility solutions that are financially viable in terms of investment and maintenance costs.
  • Phase out direct, hidden or explicit subsidies for private motorized vehicles, their use and parking.
  • Introduce concepts of new and shared mobility (including car sharing, carpooling, bike sharing and paratransit.
  • Switch to lower carbon and zero carbon energy vehicles, small (human-scale) light electric vehicles.

The Johannesburg Declaration on Ecomobility in Cities has been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and German and is available online at: www.ecomobilityfestival.org/the-johannesburg-declaration/

+ Key facts

The Festival saw significant changes in the way commuters moved around Sandton CBD, one of the most congested areas in the city. The City’s evaluation has identified the following achievements:

• Through measures such as dedicated public transport lanes and ten park-and-ride facilities, the Festival successfully reduced the percentage of private cars usage in Sandton by 22% during the month-long ecomobility challenge according to the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO).

• The metropolitan rapid rail network, Gautrain, increased its ridership by 8.1% and 9.7% in between July 2015 and October 2015 respectively.

• Compared to a survey done in 2013, five times more people walked along West Street, the street adjoining the Gautrain Station, during the Festival.

• People using park-and-ride facilities reported savings of 15 minutes in their regular commute.

• Arising from a partnership with the mini bus taxi industry, 100 taxis provided free mini bus taxi services as feeders in and around Sandton, as well as from four park and ride sites.

• Social media disseminated the Festival news globally. The twitter hashtag #joburgecomobility had approximately 26 million impressions.

+ Legacies

The City of Johannesburg is implementing ten legacy projects to translate the temporary transport experiments into concrete measures that will shape the city’s mobility future. The legacy projects are also embedded in Johannesburg’s continuing efforts to reshape the city, as envisioned in the “Corridors of Freedom” master plan.

The focus of the legacy is the provision of efficient public transport, the promotion of walking and cycling, and the construction of accessible transportation infrastructure. All measures together aim on providing a comprehensive multi-modal transport system, which targets a shift in attitudes and behaviour away from private vehicle usage towards walking, cycling and using public transport for most trips in and out of Sandton.

Legacy projects focusing on Sandton and its surroundings include:

• Enhancement of walking and cycling infrastructure: Wider sidewalks and dedicated cycle lanes will be constructed in both directions of the Sandton CBD main streets to ensure safety and comfort to a larger number of pedestrians and new cycle lanes between the Sandton CBD and neighbouring districts will be created.

• The construction of a 5 km dedicated cycling and walking lane between Alexandra township and the CBD on a dedicated bridge shall be completed by the mid 2017 to provide safe and dignified route for 10,000 pedestrians who use it daily.

• Permanent public transport loop: The temporary public transport lanes in the Sandton CBD will be converted into permanent structures. Commuter shelters will enhance safety.

• Dedicated lanes for high occupancy vehicles: About 10 km of permanent contraflow lanes along main roads for buses, mini bus taxis and car pools will be introduced in 2016. This can reduce travel in the peak hours for public transport users by up to 30 minutes.

+ Declaration

The Declaration contains a commitment by local governments and a call for action and support by other spheres of government on the following:

  • Recognition of “Ecomobility” as integrated, socially inclusive and environmentally friendly transport options, giving priority to walking and cycling, public transport and shared mobility, as well as green freight.
  • Transition to ecomobility will bring multiple benefits for people, cities and the planet: reduction in GHG emissions, new quality of public space, social integration, well-being and public health, increased access to services, cost savings, job creation, innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Adopt urban mobility policies that replace automobile-centred cities with people-friendly cities. Plan for compact cities with Transit Oriented Development. Reclaim street space for multifunctional uses.
  • Prioritize quick low cost measures; develop and implement long-term ecomobility solutions that are financially viable in terms of investment and maintenance costs.
  • Phase out direct, hidden or explicit subsidies for private motorized vehicles, their use and parking.
  • Introduce concepts of new and shared mobility (including car sharing, carpooling, bike sharing and paratransit.
  • Switch to lower carbon and zero carbon energy vehicles, small (human-scale) light electric vehicles.

The Johannesburg Declaration on Ecomobility in Cities has been translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and German and is available online at: www.ecomobilityfestival.org/the-johannesburg-declaration/

+ Report
The EcoMobility World Festival 2015 and Johannesburg Declaration on EcoMobility in cities The EcoMobility World Festival 2015 and Johannesburg Declaration on EcoMobility in cities
During the month of October 2015, parts of the Sandton central business district in the City of Johannesburg were decongested, and the streets of Africa’s most vibrant financial hub turned into inviting...
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Johannesburg Declaration
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