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Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment

Centre for Transport Studies

Strategy and Planning Directorate / Sustainability Institute Workshop

Sustainable resource use in metropolitan

Cape Town: the passenger transport sector

Roger Behrens and Peter Wilkinson

21 January 2009
Outline of discussion paper

1. Introduction

2. Cape Town’s transport system: an overview

1. Transport infrastructure
2. Vehicle fleets and rolling stock
3. Modal split
4. Systemic duality and differential mobilities
5. Aggregate travel pattersn
6. Institutional framework

3. Cape Town’s transport system and the environment Outline of presentation

1. Fuel consumption
2. Gaseous emissions

4. Implications for the sustainability of transport operations in Cape Town

5. Towards more sustainable resource use in the transport sector

6. Conclusion
3. Cape Town’s transport system and the

Fuel consumption:

• What is transport’s share of energy consumption?

• What are historical trends in oil production?

• What are the predicted impacts of oil depletion?

What is transport’s share of energy consumption?

Annual transport system energy use by fuel type in Cape Town

(1,000 gigajoules)
Jet fuel, 13,616,
Annual energy use by user group and fuel type in Cape Town
(1,000 gigajoules) Heavy furnace oil, ,
Households, 21,505, Coal, , 0%
Electricity, , 0%
Wood, , 0% Diesel, 14,337, 20%
LPG, , 0%
Paraffin, , 0%
Transport, 70,246,

Industry / commerce,
57,123, 38%

Local authority, Petrol, 42,294, 61%

2,100, 1%

Sustainability Institute 2008

• Petroleum = 97% of transport fuels

– 60% imported (85% from

Saudi Arabia + Iran)

– 30% Sasol (coal-to-liquids)

– 10% PetroSA (crude and gas-


Hendler et al 2007
Global energy supply by fuel type (2004)
(million tons of oil equivalent)

Hydro, 247, 2%
Nuclear, 718, 6% Geothermal/solar/win
d, 56, 0%
renewables and
waste, 1,177, 10% Oil, 3,947, 36% • Oil provides 90% of
transport fuels

Gas, 2,310, 21%

Coal, 2,769, 25%

Wakeford 2007 (citing the International Energy Agency)

What are historical trends in oil production?

Hubbert 1956 Energy Watch Group 2007

current global oil production = 85 Mb/d

Energy Watch Group 2007

What are projected rates of oil production?

Wakeford 2007
predicted peak = 125 Mb/d …
recently reduced to ±104-110 Mb/d

CERA = Cambridge Energy Research Associates

EIA = Energy Information Administration, US
WEO = World Energy Outlook (International Energy Agency, OECD)

Energy Watch Group 2007, Committee on Energy Futures and Air Pollution in Urban China and the United States 2007, IEA 2008
Energy Watch Group 2007, Simmons 2008,
What are the predicted impacts of oil depletion?

Stevens 2008
Donovan et al 2008
3. Cape Town’s transport system and the

Gaseous emissions:

• What is transport’s share of emissions?

• What are historical trends in emissions?

• What are the predicted impacts of increased emissions?

Photo: Bruce Sutherland, City of Cape Town

What is transport’s share of emissions?

Estimated annual direct greenhouse gas emissions in Cape Town Global greenhouse gas emissions by by sector (2000)
(megaton CO2 equivalent) (gigatons of Co2 equivalent)

Waste, 1.26, 3%
Other energy related,
Electricity, 8.6, 23% 2.1, 5%
Air and marine Power, 10.08, 24%
Buildings, 3.36, 8%
transport, 12.6, 34%
Transport, 5.88,
Heating and 14%
industrial, 3.7, 10%
Land use, 7.56, 18%
Industry, 5.88, 14%
Ground transport, Agriculture, 5.88,
12.7, 33% 14%

Hansen and Gasson 2008 Stern 2006

What are historical trends in emissions?

380 CO2 ppm

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007

What are the predicted impacts of increased

Stern 2006

+0.7 oC
since 1900

Brohan et al 2006
4. Implications of the sustainability of transport
operations in Cape Town

• Stabilisation and reversal of ‘automobilisation’: the accelerating

‘automobilisation’ experienced over the last 50 years is likely to be gradually
halted and then permanently reversed - a substantial number of ‘choice’
passengers will be unable to bear the growing cost of extensive car use, but a
significant level of private car (and perhaps motorcycle) usage is likely to remain
in the medium term, unless additional constraints are introduced and the levels
of service offered by the public transport systems improve significantly

• Shifts to subsidised intra-city public passenger transport and deepened

reliance on walking: a shift from minibus-taxi services back to the cheaper,
subsidised rail and bus services is likely where such services are available -
among the poorest sections of the ‘captive’ market, reliance on NMT modes,
particularly walking, is likely to deepen as public transport fares rise
• Inter-city freight shifts from road to rail systems: the likely effects of possible
future carbon pricing measures and associated energy price escalations would
be felt across both electrified and petroleum fuel-based transport systems – in
the inter-city land freight transport sector, such price escalations, in conjunction
with those induced by oil depletion, would probably lead to a shift from road to
electrified rail services, provided the reliability and competitiveness of the latter
can be improved

• Decline in short-haul and discretionary air travel: the viability of air transport
for both freight and passenger movements – particularly those of a discretionary
(e.g. tourism) and short-haul nature – is likely to decline fairly rapidly in the face
of aviation fuel price increases
5. Towards more sustainable resource use in the
transport sector

• Demand and road space management: introduction of travel demand and

road space management measures, including the prioritising of available road
space for public transport operations, instituting direct or proxy road use pricing
for private vehicles, encouraging the formation of lift clubs, firm-based travel
planning and other ‘mobility management’ measures

• Integrated public transport network improvements: establishment of

systematically planned public transport networks which operate across
integrated road and rail-based modes to facilitate ‘seamless’, reliable, safe and
affordable transport - very substantial amounts of capital expenditure, as well as
public funding for operating subsidies are likely to be required

• Pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements: significant investment

in the extension and upgrading of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure,
systematically integrated with current and planned public transport facilities but
also offering opportunities for safe non-motorised travel within and between local
• Avoidance of counter-productive private transport improvements: As the
corollary of prioritising provision for public transport and NMT modes, investment
in infrastructure or facilities which primarily or exclusively serve the least
sustainable modes of transport – particularly the use of private cars and air
travel – should be discontinued, other than in cases justified on the basis of
careful and comprehensive assessment of the full range of social and
environmental costs that may be involved to realise any claimed benefits of such

• Build upon the existing rail- and road-based public transport assets: The
planning and regulation of integrated public transport operations should build
upon the significant physical and human capital assets represented by key
components of the current public transport system – local passenger rail
services, in particular, but also the privately-operated and long-established
scheduled bus services, as well as, the minibus-taxi industry. This implies the
modification of any proposed ‘clean sheet’ approaches to the necessary far-
reaching reform of the city’s public transport system in such a way that present
contextual realities are appropriately accommodated.
• Less travel intensive land use systems and ‘localised’ economic systems:
the formulation of land use plans which seek to promote, through appropriate
land use management measures and careful planning of the installation of urban
infrastructure, less travel-intensive patterns of urban development – including
polycentric spatial structures at the city scale and the facilitation of ‘transit
oriented’ mixed use and higher density development at the local scale
5. Conclusion

• We are rapidly approaching what may prove to be a critical ‘tipping point’ -

when liquid fuel prices are sustained above some threshold level which may be
imminent, the travel behaviour of many people will unavoidably have to change,
and with it all or most of their ‘lifestyle’ choices

• Another critical ‘tipping point’ in the form of anthropogenic climate change may
already have passed - acceptance of the ‘precautionary principle’ would imply
that we act now to contain and reduce the level of emissions in all sectors,
including transport

• Expectations that technological ‘fixes’ will inevitably emerge which will obviate
the need for any radical change are, in our view, likely to prove self-deluding -
efforts to suppress recognition of the urgency of the current situation, and to
delay intervention to secure transition towards a more sustainable urban
transport system in the interests of continuing ‘business as usual’, we believe
can no longer be seen as tenable

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