The City of Cape Town is set to appoint a multi-disciplinary team of rail professionals to assist the Transport Directorate with the high-level business plans for taking over passenger rail in Cape Town.

The municipality recently advertised a tender for the procurement of professional services to assist the City with the assignment of the urban rail function and has received four tenders since the closing date.

The team of rail professionals, once appointed, will be tasked to develop a feasible and incremental plan for the City in taking over the urban rail function from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), a state-owned entity that reports to the National Department of Transport.

A specialist team needed

The multi-disciplinary team to be appointed will have specialist skills and experience in railway operations and engineering, as well as business re-engineering and development, track and structures, rolling stock, signalling, concessions, electrical systems and stations.

“We’ve stipulated in the tender that the preferred service provider will have to acquire the skills of professionals who have decades’ experience in the urban rail environment,” explains Felicity Purchase, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport.

“The team must consist of a project leader, financial specialist or transport economist, legal specialist, and experts in railway asset management and urban rail network operations, rail signalling and systems, and railway safety and security. Collectively, the team must have many decades of experience among them. We want the best of the best to assist us with this very important task,” she adds.

Tender announcement to come

Once appointed, the multi-disciplinary team will assist the City with the investigation into the feasibility of the assignment of the urban rail function to the City, and on the basis of this study, provide a detailed plan for an incremental and sustainable devolution of the urban rail functions.

The City will make an announcement about the awarding of the tender once the supply chain management process has been concluded, and if it is satisfied that there is a preferred service provider who will be able to meet the criteria, or scope of work, as set out in the tender document.

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