October is Transport Month in South Africa. Open Streets Cape Town (OSCT) has partnered with WWF to give Capetonians the opportunity to experience low-carbon transport options in our city at the upcoming Open Streets Day (30 October 2016).
Carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fuels in private cars make a major contribution to the climate change problem. We can tackle this problem in Cape Town (and South Africa) by shifting our transport choices, improving vehicle and fuel technologies and reducing the need for transport through spatial planning and the location of facilities. As highlighted by OSCT board member Dr Lisa Kane in a recent policy brief: "This is a challenge that will need much more action and on many fronts."
The AtoB Challenge builds on WWF's concept of a low-carbon challenge previously run in Tshwane and Joburg, and entails teams competing to travel from the central city to Langa using any form of low-carbon transport. The winning team will be the one that completes the journey with the smallest carbon footprint.
The challenge will give Capetonians an opportunity to explore transport options, and interrogate the link between transport behaviour and climate change through experiential learning. It will enable those who normally don't use public transport to experience it, and those who do, an opportunity to share their experiences.
The Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, who will be taking part in the AtoB Challenge, says: "I am looking forward to taking part in this very important initiative encouraging citizens to make the emission-reducing move from private to public transport. Seeing Cape Townians transition to low-carbon transport alternatives in the future will require all of us to reconsider how we, and those around us, choose to move around the city. This positive change will require collective action from all sectors of society, united behind a shared vision of greatly reducing our collective carbon emissions. This challenge is the perfect way to continue to engage stakeholders on the responsibilities we share in achieving our common goal."
We are thrilled that Open Streets has incorporated the low-carbon challenge into their programme. Every time we have run this challenge, I have been amazed at how much the teams enjoy it, and call for more. Would you volunteer to spend your day getting around the city. Racers report enjoying getting out of their daily travel routes and routines, and interacting with fellow residents from all walks of life and trying different mobility options. Making low-carbon lifestyle choices can enrich our lives. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by climate change, you really can make a significant difference by changing your travel behavior, says Louise Naud, who heads up WWF South Africa's transport programme.
- Teams will receive an info pack with the resources they need to complete the challenge.
- Each team must go to each checkpoint before they can proceed to the next one. Teams must travel together.
- At least four different modes of transport must be used by each team this can include any combination of these options: MyCiTi bus, Golden Arrow Bus Services bus, Metrorail train, minibus taxi, walking, cycling, and electric vehicle.
- Points will be allocated according to carbon emissions, adhering to the allocated budget and small challenges.
- The cut off time is 14h00.
The challenge will be filmed and a short video will be released online. Our media partner, KFM, will be broadcasting the challenge throughout the day, tracking the progress of the teams as they move through the checkpoints. Liezel van der Westhuizen from KFM, Jade Hubner from Top Billing, and several City officials will be taking part. If you are up for the challenge and want to take part, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For interviews and all other media inquiries please contact Marcela Guerrero Casas at 0722146736 or by email at email@example.com