The City of Cape Town has announced its plans to operate a green fleet by 2017. The city issued a tender for the procurement of electric buses for MyCiTi, Cape Town’s bus-based public transport system.

The tender, issued in February 2016 for the procurement of a fleet of 12-metre electric buses, was awarded to BYD SA Company in line with the city’s commitment to lowering carbon emissions. The City is also considering electric double-decker buses for longer distance trips as they have more seating.

According to Mayor Patricia de Lille, “If all goes according to plan, Transport for Cape Town will be the first municipality in the country to benefit from the latest alternative fuel technology and we will be the first city in Africa to use electric buses for public transport. This is another step towards affirming our commitment to the Compact of Mayors and strengthening our pledge to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change.”

The tender stated that the successful bidder will provide electric buses that can travel at least 250km before needing a recharge. Other prerequisites include charging stations for the buses and training for bus drivers and mechanical engineers. The buses will also be assembled locally guaranteeing employment for local staff.

The MyCiTi service began operations in 2010 and has recorded approximately 38.5 million passenger journeys to date. This is another great initiative by the city of Cape Town as it recently introduced free-on-board wifi for commuters in June. With the introduction of these electric buses, carbon emissions will be reduced in the city and job opportunities will be created for residents. Win win.

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