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Let's post everything regarding the proposed Monorail link in this thread.... :)
 

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Umhlanga
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(Posted originally by Kulani)

Malaysian firm to build R12bn Soweto-Jo'burg monorail

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/art...hp?a_id=109049

By: Mariaan Olivier
Published: 15 May 07 - 12:57

Soweto and the Johannesburg city centre will soon be linked by a R12-billion monorail, which can transport over 1,5-million commuters a day, the Gauteng provincial government said this week.

Gauteng would sign a deal for the construction of the hybrid monorial carrier and related infrastructure along a corridor, such as shopping malls and residential areas, with a private investor on Wednesday.

This forms part of the provincial government's plans to implement an integrated transport system and consolidate the province as an economic and logistic hub.

The integrated monorail corridor project, which would be fully financed by a Malaysian company, would source all infrastructure and rolling stock in Gauteng, creating a number of jobs in the province.

The province is South Africa’s fastest growing region, but transport infrastructure has not kept up with the increased number of vehicles on the road.

To alleviate the traffic congestion between Pretoria, Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport, Gauteng is building the R25,1-billion Gautrain rapid-rail link. But government has been criticised for not investing in transport systems in formerly disadvantaged areas and that Gautrain was targeting a higher-income group.

Transport will also play an important role in the 2010 soccer World Cup, as three of the official stadiums are located in Gauteng, with Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria hosting games.

Gauteng finance and economic affairs MEC Paul Mashatile, the Gauteng Economic Development Agency CEO Keith Khoza and representatives of private investors will unveil more details on the project at the signing ceremony.
 

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Umhlanga
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(Posted originally by Pule)

I know that there are projects, Transport related, that Malaysian companies will be busy with but I neve thought Soweto will have this.

If I had to take a decision, I would rather develop this kind of monorail between Sandton and Fourways and improve the train system in Soweto. The reason for this is that at least we got plenty of taxis transporting people from Soweto to the city and vice-versa, but between Sandton and Fourways, you mainly find people driving alone while it takes you about 2 hours to drive between the 2 destinations in peak.
 

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Umhlanga
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^^ I agree. There is significant existing rail infrastructure between Jo'burg and Soweto. That infrastructure could be expanded and upgraded - and probably at less cost and effort than building a monorail. The world has had monorail technology for decades, yet there are very few monorails. That fact alone speaks volumes about some combination of system limitations, costs, etc.

P.S. - I copied all the original posts about this topic from the Economy thread to this thread. I hope no one minds.
 

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Guys, looks like this thing is for real and they are damn serious about it!!! :banana:

Construction to start in September for R12bn Jo'burg-Soweto monorail

http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=


The monorail system will be able to carry about 1,5-million passengers from Soweto to Johannesburg on a daily basis.


By: Nelendhre Moodley
Published: 16 May 07 - 14:46

The Gauteng provincial government and the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (Geda) on Wednesday signed a deal with Malaysian group Newcyc Vision (Newcyc) for the construction of a R12-billion monorail system, the sod-turning for which will take place in September.

Speaking at the signing in Johannesburg, Gauteng MEC for Finance and Economic Affairs Paul Mashatile said that the system, which would be able to carry some 1,5-million passengers from Soweto to Johannesburg on a daily basis, would be operational by 2009.

“We want to do away with queues. At peak hour, people have to wait between three to four hours for taxis,” Mashatile said.

The province is South Africa’s fastest growing region, but transport infrastructure has not kept up with the increased number of vehicles on the road.

To alleviate the traffic congestion between Pretoria, Johannesburg and the OR Tambo International Airport, Gauteng is building the R25,1-billion Gautrain rapid-rail link. But government has been criticised for not investing in transport systems in formerly disadvantaged areas and that the Gautrain was targeting a higher-income group. Transport will also play an important role in the 2010 soccer World Cup, as three of the official stadiums are located in Gauteng, with Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria hosting games.

The cost for the full route of the monorail will, in 2009, be less than R10,00.

The hybrid monorail will run every 10 to fifteen minutes throughout the day, and between every three and five minutes at peak hours, across 39 stations.

The system will run off batteries and solar power and will be constructed along the road system.

However, transport expert Andrew Marsay, was sceptical about the success of the project, saying that the monorail was the wrong technology for mass transport.

He said that the nature of the monorail involved short trains that carried about twenty to thirty people.

“This technology is not suitable for mass transit. It is built in dense urban areas that do not have enormous amounts of space,” he told Engineering News Online.

However, the MEC for transport Ignatius Jacobs said that Newcyc had been working with government for over a year towards finalising the deal, which had included the completion of a feasibility study.

Newcyc and the provincial government would initiate discussions with the National Energy Regulator to ensure that there would be adequate power supply along the route, Mashatile told journalists.

As the monorail system was environmentally friendly, Newcyc CE Jeyakumar Varathan did not anticipate any problems associated with the environmental-impact assessment.

Newcyc is responsible for the Kuala Lumpur monorail.

"We can start construction immediately, however, we have asked for a three-month period to determine what lies underground, especially to determine where sewerage or power lines run," he explained.

In response to a question on the implications of the material, and skills shortages, Varathan said that raw materials were "not a problem", as they could be sourced from any of Newcyc’s subsidiaries involved in cement and metal production, in Malaysia, India or the Middle East.

“Initially we will bring moulds and skills from Malaysia and after that train the people here,” he said.

Newcyc was currently investigating potential black economic-partnerships.

Further, the company would soon start building a monorail production factory on 20 ha of land at Mogale city, which would be the feeder for monorail production for the rest of the continent.

Once the system was successfully in place, the province would look at rolling out the hybrid monorail in Ekhuruleni and Tshwane, Mashatile said.
But Marsay said that he was “very sceptical” about whether the monorail would be able to carry the targeted 1,5-million passengers a day, and pointed out that the monorail in Kuala Lumpur transported about 1-million people a month and about 40 000 passengers a day.

The monorail was best suited to transporting people short distances, especially with airports, distributing people within terminals.

Monorails typically have higher infrastructure costs than BRT, but lower than rail; and lower patronage than either.

“The metrorail on its busiest line carries between 120 000 and 140 000 people a day.”

“I would look closely at the financial arrangement and find out how it is funding the project and who in South Africa is benefiting from this arrangement,” Marsay added.


Edited by: Liezel Hill
 

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i have to say that i have my doubts about the numbers the guys are talking about here like 1.5 million people a day. I hope that was a mistake and was meant to be 1.5 million per month or even per year!!! That's like moving the whole of Soweto and still having to ask the Alexandra guys to come and join!!

Perhaps the MEC was doing some sales pitching to excite people about the project. Also the R12 billion price tag sounds like a lot of cash, perhaps an extension to Gautrain could be financed with this sort of cash. Or is the MEC again talking about the total expected capital outlay projected once they have rolled it in Ekurhuleni and Pretoria. Any thoughts?
 

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Even more info from the Newcyc website, well this thing is definately for real.

http://www.newsysip.com/sa_project.htm



ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORT IN SOUTH AFRICA

Newcyc has bagged a Letter Of Intent from the MEC, Gauteng Province to Design, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (DBOOT) the monorail as an alternative Mass Rapid Transport system in the city of Johannesburg. Newcyc through this project will contribute to the economic growth, create jobs and assist the government to fight poverty and to help, create sustainable communities. It will encourage the transport industry and other interested investors in South Africa towards the prosperity and growth of Gauteng province.
The picture which describes the proposed corridor in which Newcyc is going to work for DPR (Detailed Project Report) in Gauteng province.
The necessity of alternative Rapid Transport System for any corridor development is like fixing-up of lift for a multistoried building. Here in Newcyc , we design the corridor first and then we fix the most accurate & necessary mode of mass transport for the designed corridor.
 

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kulani; said:
i have to say that i have my doubts about the numbers the guys are talking about here like 1.5 million people a day. I hope that was a mistake and was meant to be 1.5 million per month or even per year!!! That's like moving the whole of Soweto and still having to ask the Alexandra guys to come and join!!

Perhaps the MEC was doing some sales pitching to excite people about the project. Also the R12 billion price tag sounds like a lot of cash, perhaps an extension to Gautrain could be financed with this sort of cash. Or is the MEC again talking about the total expected capital outlay projected once they have rolled it in Ekurhuleni and Pretoria. Any thoughts?
Alright, i have now found some articles which progressively begin to answer some of my initial suspicions. The cost to build the Joburg to Soweto link is actually going to be R173 million and its going to be built along the dual carriageways in the middle (a factor that must have simplified the EIA process).

'Going up' - Gauteng's new monorail

http://business.iafrica.com/news/870187.htm

Wed, 16 May 2007

A R12-billion monorail will be built between Johannesburg and Soweto in the next two years, it was announced on Wednesday.

"By 2009 no one from Soweto should have to wait more than 15 minutes for transport," Gauteng Finance and Economic Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile said at the launch of the project in Sandton.

Work on the 44.7-kilometre monorail and its 39 stations will start in September.

The monorail was intended to complement and not compete against existing forms of transport, said Mashatile.

Moving people ‘efficiently’

"The problem in South Africa when it comes to public transport is not competition; the problem is people queue for three to four hours (for transport).

"We want to move people: move them efficiently; move them safely; move them in an affordable way..."

It was hoped the monorail would move 1.5 million passengers a day, between Soweto and Johannesburg, to ease congestion on the roads.

The monorail service will consist of 4.5 metres high, rubber-wheeled carbon fibre carriages, 10 metres long and three metres wide — able to carry 107 passengers each.

These will run on concrete beams atop six-metre tall pillars situated mainly on the centre medians between road carriageways, and will dock at aerial stations accessed via escalators.

Set to be a hybrid

The hybrid variety used in South Africa will run on a combination of electricity and solar-powered batteries.

The monorail is expected to cost $25-million a kilometre (about R173-million) to build, but none of this will be borne by the government.

The project is a private sector initiative by the Malaysian investment consortium, Newcyc Vision, with which Mashatile, Gauteng Public Transport Road and Works MEC Ignatius Jacobs and Gauteng Economic Development Agency chief executive officer Keith Khoza signed a deal on Wednesday.

Newcyc has been given three months to find Black Economic Empowerment partners.

Companies invited

Newcyc chief executive officer Jeyakumar Varathan has invited both small local development companies and big civil construction companies to present the consortium with their profiles.

He said that while raw materials were being sourced outside South Africa because of present local shortages, construction would take place in the country at a factory in Mogale City, next to the Merafong Hospital.

Built on 20 hectares of land provided by the Gauteng government, the factory would be the hub of monorail developments throughout Africa.

Jacobs said he first proposed that the idea of a monorail for Gauteng be explored in his 2002 strategic agenda for transport.

However, year-long work on a feasibility study for the project had been kept largely secret until now to prevent any escalation in the prices of, among other things, land, said Mashatile.

Essentially a ‘skybridge’

The monorail was not expected to result in expropriations similar to those caused by construction of the Gautrain, and only minimal disruption was expected "because we're going up. This is a skybridge," said Jacobs.

"We are convinced we are entering a new era of modernising public transport to our province. It's a revolution," he said.

Instead of being run by computerised high technology, the South African service would be labour intensive, in the interests of creating jobs and reducing poverty, he said.

The project was expected to create 100 permanent jobs per kilometre. It would create 5000 jobs during construction with another 2400 at the factory.

While round-trip tickets were expected to cost R10 each, rides between stations would cost less, to encourage inner-city travelling in Soweto — between shopping centres, stadia and major heritage sites.

The entire route would take 45 minutes to cover at an average speed of 40 kilometres an hour, with a peak speed of 80 kilometres an hour. Trains would run every 10 to 15 minutes and every three minutes during peaks.

Sapa
 

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Also read the Mail & Guardian to get the full story. Funny how you have to go through 2 or more news reports to actually find the truth!!!

http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=308590&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__national/

Travel in the sky from Jo'burg to Soweto

Sumayya Ismail and Sapa | Johannesburg, South Africa

16 May 2007 03:24
A R12-billion monorail will be built between Johannesburg and Soweto in the next two years, it was announced on Wednesday.

"By 2009, no one from Soweto should have to wait more than 15 minutes for transport," Gauteng finance and economic affairs minister Paul Mashatile said at the launch of the project in Sandton.

Work on the 44,7km monorail and its 39 stations will start in September.

The monorail is intended to complement and not compete against existing forms of transport, said Mashatile. "The problem in South Africa when it comes to public transport is not competition; the problem is people queue for three to four hours [for transport].

He added: "We want to move people: move them efficiently; move them safely; move them in an affordable way."

It is hoped the monorail will move 1,5-million passengers a day between Soweto and Johannesburg, to ease congestion on the roads.

The monorail service will consist of 4,5m-high, rubber-wheeled, carbon-fibre carriages, 10m long and 3m wide -- able to carry 107 passengers each. These will run on concrete beams atop 6m-tall pillars situated mainly on the centre medians between road carriageways, and will dock at aerial stations accessed via escalators.

The hybrid variety used in South Africa will run on a combination of electricity and solar-powered batteries.

Costs
The monorail is expected to cost about R173-million a kilometre to build, but none of this will be borne by the government.

The project is a private-sector initiative by the Malaysian investment consortium Newcyc Vision, with which Mashatile, Gauteng public transport, road and works minister Ignatius Jacobs and Gauteng Economic Development Agency CEO Keith Khoza signed a deal on Wednesday.

Newcyc has been given three months to find black economic empowerment partners. Its CEO, Jeyakumar Varathan, has invited both small local development companies and big civil construction companies to present the consortium with their profiles.

He said that while raw materials are being sourced outside South Africa because of present local shortages, construction will take place in the country at a factory in Mogale City next to the Merafong Hospital.

Built on 20ha of land provided by the Gauteng government, the factory will be the hub of monorail developments throughout Africa.

Taxi industry
Sicelo Mabaso, chairperson of the National Taxi Alliance, told the Mail & Guardian Online on Wednesday afternoon that the new "high quality" modes of transportation being implemented will inevitably encroach on the province's taxi industry.

"The parallel processes of government, things like the monorail and the BRT [Bus Rapid Transit], all that and all these types of modes are fighting against taxi operations," Mabaso said.

He compared the current situation of taxi drivers to that of small traders put out of business by the emergence of big shopping malls, saying the plan seems to be to have these modes of transport ready in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup when "commuters will obviously turn to these high-quality modes instead of taxis".

Mabaso said it is only a perception that commuters have to queue constantly to get taxis.

"It is only during peak hours in the morning and evening … for the rest of the day, taxis wait at the ranks for people to come. We are not making so much money; we only have business for a few hours a day. Now it is going to be worse than it is today," he said.

Secret process
Jacobs said he first proposed that the idea of a monorail for Gauteng be explored in his 2002 strategic agenda for transport.

However, year-long work on a feasibility study for the project had been kept largely secret until now to prevent any escalation in the prices of land, among other things, said Mashatile.

The monorail is not expected to result in expropriations similar to those caused by the construction of the Gautrain, and only minimal disruption is expected "because we're going up. This is a sky bridge," said Jacobs. "We are convinced we are entering a new era of modernising public transport to our province. It's a revolution."

Instead of being run by computerised high technology, the South African service will be labour intensive -- in the interests of creating jobs and reducing poverty, he said.

The project is expected to create 100 permanent jobs a kilometre. It will create 5 000 jobs during construction with another 2 400 at the factory.

While round-trip tickets are expected to cost R10 each, rides between stations will cost less, to encourage inner-city travelling in Soweto -- between shopping centres, stadiums and major heritage sites.

The entire route will take 45 minutes to cover at an average speed of 40km/h, with a peak speed of 80km/h. Trains will run every 10 to 15 minutes and every three minutes during peak times.
 

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Umhlanga
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I'm impressed that they plan to move so quickly. But....

I agree that it's the wrong technology. Monorails don't operate over large distances anywhere. (Currently the world's longest monorail is in Osaka, and operates over half the distance of the proposed Soweto monorail.) And look at the picture included, it shows a 2-car train running next to a Mr. Price. 2-car trains to carry 1,5 million daily riders?? I live in a city with a rail transit system which yesterday (15 May) carried 712,636 passengers. That on a system using 952 railcars (each car is 23m long), which are usually grouped together to form 6-car trains; and that system is packed to the gills during peak periods.

But setting aside the capacity issues, the passenger projections are way off mark. Obviously the monorail will be nicer than the existing Metrorail coaches, so they'll certainly attract some people who don't currently use Metrorail. But these Malaysian okes are talking about daily ridership 10 times greater than Metrorail!! And let's not forget that this single-line Monorail won't reach as many areas as the existing Metrorail network.

Also, check out the company's website. According to it, they 'specialize in the implementation of “Monorail” a Mass Rapid Alternative Transport System.' Yet they can point to no completed monorail system that they have built. None. All their monorail achievements show the same render of the same train parked at the same station. Yet they claim 'monorail achievements' in Sri Lanka, 3 Indian states, and Reunion.

In fact, of all their listed 'achievements', only two (a highway in Sri Lanka and a Malaysian sports stadium opened in 1994) appear to be complete - and their webpage contains no details whatsoever about what specific roles NEWCYC played in those projects - neither of which involves a monorail, which is their alleged speciality. Of their other claimed achievements, only two (the Soweto monorail and a coalbed methane exploration project at Hwange up in Zim) have even reached the letter of intent stage. If these people have been in business long enough to build a sports stadium in 1994, but have completed only 1 other project since, then that's pretty sad.

Finally, do a Google search for the company. You'll find almost nothing. And most of what you find is either the company's own tiny webpage, or stories related to the Soweto monorail project.

Obviously every business must start somewhere. But these folks don't fill me with confidence.
 

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Umhlanga, you have captured my worries precisely. I just hope the Gauteng Transport Dept has done its homework and due-diligence with these guys. Also their CEO didn't seem to be saying anything during the press conference. Their numbers definately do not add.

That said, i am still hopeful they are for real as Soweto would benefit immensely from such a project and they do get their numbers together so the monorail is sustainable.
 

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Even though it might not be the best option, it will probably look the most attractive! Very high tech and clean looking, unlike our train system.
For time and money wise, i actually think this is a 'good' alternative, the more taxi's we can get off the road the better. Think of all the nay-sayers towards the Gautrain, and already ppl are very excited abt it and the advantages it promises..

Wot other alternatives do we have? I think anything to do with road transport (more taxis, buses) is a bad idea, cos road congestion is something that needs to be illiminated.. As for more rail, it takes long and costs a lot of money. http://www.newsysip.com/index2.htm <- check that out, looks quite cool i must say
 

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Umhlanga
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Looks cool, but this firm have never built one. (In fact, as I wrote above, they give no information as to what exactly they've built - anywhere in the world.)
 

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Umhlanga; said:
Looks cool, but this firm have never built one. (In fact, as I wrote above, they give no information as to what exactly they've built - anywhere in the world.)
Its possible that they may simply be an SPV (special purpose vehicle) with an ambition to enter the public transport sector and the financial muscle to invest in this project. For me the most important thing is that they have the financial muscle to do this as well as experienced partners and/or sub-contractors. Anyone with enough money can put together the required experience to make this happen. They may very well have been relying on subcontractors and consultants for the EIA, economic and technical feasibility studies. I guess time will tell. I am watching them though.
 

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Interesting project, though the ridership numbers seem ummm exagerated. There are, what, 2 to 3m people in Soweto. So around one third (750,000) are expected to use the monorail to go downtown (or elsewhere in Soweto) and back every day? I'm guessing trip originating downtown will be small?

Not sure about the comments that monorails are inneffective though. In Vancouver we have the "Skyrain" -which is really a monorail. It is well used and runs on an extensive network. There are some details at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkyTrain_(Vancouver)

Basically it's a 50 km, almost exclusively elevated, network. Around the same as the Soweto project. As a comparison ridership figures for Skytrain are given as 220,000 per day. I'm not sure whether this is trips or number of people who use it in a day. Public transport ridership figures often sound ridiculously large becauise what is being talked about is trips, and most people will make two trips in a workday. Population of greater Vancouver is around 2.5 million. Skytrain also usually uses two car trains, though at peak times two two-car trains are coupled together and they run pretty much as frequently as safe following distances will allow. Two to three minutes between trains maybe.

Just hope that the designers don't allow for open windows or doors when in motion and allow the "trainsurfers" to become momorail surfers!

All round it sounds like an interseting project. how did they keep in sect=ret for so long?
 

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Have ridden the Monorail in KL that this is 'modelled' on - was brilliant!!! Great news for those who commute between Jo'burg and Soweto.
 

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well, if you think about the fact that this is going to have 39 stations, most of which i hope will be in Soweto and the fact that people may use this to travel between different townships that makes up Soweto (there are about 79 townships in total) then there may be many trips made within Soweto on the monorail that might explain the unusually high figure of 1,5 million trips the MEC is talking about. So ultimately the trip between Soweto and Johannesburg may be simply a fraction of the total trips made on this Monorail.
 
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