The IPTS system is an integrated network of road-based public transport services that are contracted by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality and which include exclusive use of median lanes and enclosed median route stations on trunk corridors, as well as defined feeder routes that integrate with the trunk services. The route stations are designed to accommodate both articulated and solo buses to operate during peak traffic hours.
The stations were selected and are designed in various lengths differing from a single station (20mx3m), double station (40mx3m) which can accommodate two articulated buses, and a combination of both single and double with an inter-linking walkway along with a wider (40mx5.1m) shelter. All were specifically designed to accommodate the Volvo low floor buses. The facades had to be transparent to allow for maximum visibility to the user of the buses, thus resulting in a structure that is light and modular.
The extensive use of glass in the design is to allow passengers clear visibility of approaching buses. Stations are naturally ventilated with glazing stopping short of floor level as well as high level louvres – just below ceiling level. Triangular perforated aluminium sheeting, fitted externally between columns will assist with solar shading; these can be omitted where there is no direct sunlight affecting the station.
The nature of the transport system has led to the stations being both elongated and modular by design. This overall length has been broken down by vertical structural columns, which end within a continuous slim line fascia board. This fascia board also provides a location for the possible future incorporation of photovoltaic cells. Ticketing and toilet facilities for staff have been treated as a separate element and centrally positioned at the entrance to each station. Each station will be identified by a 3 legged ‘totem sign’ located where the two pedestrian crossings meet the central median, leading up to the entrance of the station. This totem will serve as a location for station naming signage, for locating a video surveillance camera, for mounting of the BSU and as a lightening conductor. A 6000 litre rain-water harvesting tank is also located below the central median and can be used for cleaning down the stations.
The subtle colour scheme of the IPTS stations have been derived from the NMBM corporate colours (NMBM logo). The earthy red will be the key colour element and is used on the continuous fascia board. Golden yellow has been used as a focal point to the bulkhead above the main entrance, station signage and in the tactile pavers for the visually impaired. The aqua Blue has been subtly introduced to the area’s surrounding perforated sheeting within the signage totem and to the sides of the main entrance.
The 20 metre station can accommodate one articulated bus per direction. These stations will be constructed at stops where the passenger demand is relatively low.
At busier stops such as Lillian Diedericks, Pier 14, Law Courts and ultimately the stations at the intersection of Kempston and Stanford Roads; the 40 metre station will be constructed that is; where the number of potential passenger movements is high and two articulated buses, in one direction, can stop at the same time.
At most station sites there will be no station structures built during the pilot operational services stage. The platforms will be controlled by platform staff and passenger relations staff, to assist with passenger queries, to assist with direction finding, loading, off-loading and security officials. The numbers of these officials and staff members are still being determined.
During these operations, passengers will approach the station by crossing the road at the fully marked pedestrian crossing. When getting to the median the passenger will pass the symbol that indicates the station name. Walking up a low ramp, specially engineered to allow easy access for persons with special needs. On approach into the entrance of the station the passengers will be able to purchase or recharge their travel smartcard at the ticket kiosk located at the entrance to the station. On the facades and walls all the IPTS system route maps, timetables, fare structures and usage rules will be prominently displayed in simple language/s and pictograms.
Those passengers who have valid smartcards will proceed directly to the turnstiles, one of which is large enough for a person in a wheelchair to comfortably access. Touch the smartcard on the reader and walk directly into the interior of the station.
Variable message signs adjacent to each door to the buses will indicate how many minutes to the next bus including the route and destination of the bus. The floor of the station will be marked with tactile paving to assist special needs persons to direct them to the proximity of the correct doors that will align with the correct door on the bus. There will be station passenger relations staff to assist passengers with special needs and those who require any assistance or information. Security personnel will also be inside the station to enhance safety and security. The security person will also be trained to administer first aid if required. All station staff will be trained in emergency procedures to ensure that the passengers are safe at all times. Emergency exit doors for use to evacuate the station in the event of an emergency at most of the stations will be located at the end opposite the turnstiles. This is of course taking into consideration that busier stations will have turnstiles at both ends.
When a bus approaches a voice announcement will inform all persons in the station of the route of the bus and the destination and what platform or doors will be used. When the bus stops and opens its doors; the station door will simultaneously automatically open. Disembarking passengers will get off first before on boarding take place.
The passengers are advised that when disembarking the bus to quickly vacate the area around the station doors to allow embarking passengers to board the bus. Follow the direction signage to the exit turnstiles, touch your smartcard on the reader and quickly exit the station and cross the road at the marked pedestrian crossings.
The stations will be strategically located based on the planning process undertaken and on passenger demand. The stations will be incrementally constructed as the system expands.
The following are the Phase 1 bus station locations:
- Kempston Road
- General Motors Gate 4, 60m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Berrys Corner, 60m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Hoch Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Harrower/Stanford Road Intersection, 80m shelter, 2nd pedestrian crossing at Essex Street.
- Harrower Road
- Gibbuad Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Cadburys, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Fettes Road
- Stadium entrance, 40m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Prince Alfred Traffic Circle, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Govan Mbeki Avenue
- Korsten Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Pier 14, 80m shelter with future extension to 2 x 60m shelters, 3 x pedestrian crossings with a crossing at mid-section
- Law Courts (Graham Street), 60m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Bagshaw Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Uitenhage/Grahamstown Rd Intersection, 40m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Boswell Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Ambrose Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Stanford Road
- Chrissie Street, 60m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- New Bolt/ Drew Street, 40m shelter, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Ablett/Livingstone Hospital, 60m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Aubrey Street, 40m shelter, 5m wide, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Beetlestone Street, 40m shelter, 5m wide, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Springbok/Gail Street, 40m shelter, 5m wide, mid-block, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- Hartebees Street, 40m shelter, 5m wide, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- 3rd Avenue (St. Kevin’s), 40m shelter, 2 x pedestrian crossings
- Bramlin BRT intersection with Stanford Rd, 40m shelter, 5m wide, 1 x pedestrian crossing
- 3rd Avenue/ University Street, 40m shelter, 5m wide, mid-block, 1 x pedestrian crossing
The estimated construction costs for the 20 meter bus station is R 4 000 000 and the 40 meter station will be approximately R 7 000 000.