Cape Town International Airport serves both domestic and international flights. It is the second-largest airport in South Africa and serves as a major gateway for travellers to the Cape region. Cape Town has direct flights to most cities in South Africa as well as a number of international destinations.
Cape Town International Airport recently opened a brand new central terminal building that was developed to handle an expected increase in air traffic as tourism numbers will increase in the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Other renovations include several large new parking garages, a revamped domestic departure terminal, a new Bus Rapid Transit system station and a new double-decker road system. The airport’s cargo facilities are also being expanded and several large empty lots are being developed into office space and hotels.
The Cape Town International Airport was among the winners of the World Travel Awards for being Africa’s leading airport.
The Port of Cape Town is a major transport node in southern Africa. In addition to moving freight it also serves as a major repair site for ships and oil rigs.
Cape Town has a long tradition as a port city. The Port of Cape Town, the city’s main port, is in Table Bay directly to the north of the central business district. The port is a hub for ships in the southern Atlantic: it is located along one of the busiest shipping corridors in the world. It is also a busy container port, second in South Africa only to Durban. In 2004, it handled 3,161 ships and 9.2 million tonnes of cargo.
Simon’s Town Harbour on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula is the main operational base of the South African Navy.
The Shosholoza Meyl is the passenger rail operations of Spoornet and operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Cape Town: a daily service to and from Johannesburg via Kimberley and a weekly service to and from Durban via Kimberley, Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg. These trains terminate at Cape Town railway station and make a brief stop at Bellville. Cape Town is also one terminus of the luxury tourist-oriented Blue Train as well as the five-star Rovos Rail.
Metrorail operates a commuter rail service in Cape Town and the surrounding area. The Metrorail network consists of 96 stations throughout the suburbs and outskirts of Cape Town.
Three national roads start in Cape Town:
- the N1 which links Cape Town with Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Zimbabwe;
- the N2 which links Cape Town with Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban;
- and the N7 which links Cape Town with the Northern Cape Province and Namibia.
The N1 and N2 both start in the Central Business District, and split to the east of the CBD, with the N1 continuing to the north east and the N2 heading south east past Cape Town International Airport. The N7 starts in Mitchells Plain and runs north, intersecting with the N1 and the N2 before leaving the city.
Cape Town also has a system of freeway and dual carriageway M-roads, which connect different parts of the city. The M3 splits from the N2 and runs to the south along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, connecting the City Bowl with Muizenberg. The M5 splits from the N1 further east than the M3, and links the Cape Flats to the CBD. The R300, which is informally known as the Cape Flats Freeway, links Mitchells Plain with Bellville, the N1 and the N2.
Golden Arrow Bus Services operates scheduled bus services throughout the Cape Town metropolitan area. Several companies run long-distance bus services from Cape Town to the other cities in South Africa.
- Bus: MyCiTi
Cape Town has a significantly enhanced public transport system in about 10% of the City, running north to south along the west coastline of the City, comprising Phase 1 of the IRT system. This is known as the MyCiTi service.
MyCiTi Phase 1 includes services linking the Airport to the Cape Town inner city, as well as the following areas: Blouberg / Table View, Dunoon, Atlantis and Melkbosstrand, Milnerton, Paarden Eiland, Century City, Salt River and Walmer Estate, and all suburbs of the City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard all the way toLlandudno and Hout Bay.
The MyCiTi N2 Express service comprise of two routes each linking the Cape Town inner city and Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats.
The service use high floor articulated and standard size buses in dedicated busways, low floor articulated and standard size buses on the N2 Express service, and smaller 9m Optare buses in suburban and inner city areas. It offers universal access through level boarding and numerous other measures, and requires cashless fare payment using the EMV compliant smart card system, called myconnect. Headway of services (i.e. the time between buses on the same route) range from 3 mins to 20 mins in peak times to 60 minutes during quiet off-peak periods.
Cape Town has two kinds of taxis: metered taxis and minibus taxis. Unlike many cities, metered taxis are not allowed to drive around the city to solicit fares and instead must be called to a specific location.
Cape Town metered taxi cabs mostly operate in the city bowl, suburbs and Cape Town International Airport areas. Large companies that operate fleets of cabs can be reached by phone and are cheaper than the single operators that apply for hire from taxi ranks and Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. There are about a thousand-meter taxis in Cape Town. Their rates vary from R8 per kilometre to about R15 per kilometre. The larger taxi companies in Cape Town are Excite Taxis, Cabnet and Intercab and single operators are reachable by cellular phone. The seven seated Toyota Avanza are the most popular with larger Taxi companies. Meter cabs are mostly used by tourists and are safer to use than minibus taxis.
Minibus taxis are the standard form of transport for the majority of the population who cannot afford private vehicles. Although essential, these taxis are often poorly maintained and are frequently not road-worthy. These taxis make frequent unscheduled stops to pick up passengers, which can cause accidents. With the high demand for transport by the working class of South Africa, minibus taxis are often filled over their legal passenger allowance. Minibuses are generally owned and operated in fleets.