There are few cities in the world that can boast a scenic train ride along a magnificent stretch of coastline offering whale spotting from the carriage windows and easy access to major tourist attractions within a two-kilometer radius of train stations – but this is the promise of a journey on the Southern Line. Now a new partnership adds a carbon-friendly extension to the Southern Line experience with Rail and Ride.
Undertaken as a partnership project between Cape Town Tourism, Metrorail Western Cape, and The Green Cab www.thegreencab.co.za (an eco-friendly travel provider), The Rail and Ride initiative was launched at Tourism Indaba this past weekend to great enthusiasm and will begin running in the first week of June 2010.
The Rail and Ride experience combines eco-friendly rail travel with reduced emission Green Cab vehicles and a tour-guided insight on the Southern Line route. Green Cabs are training tour guides in partnership with Metrorail and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership, who will be positioned in a select carriage on the Rail and Ride days. The tour guides will then inform the visitors’ journey as they travel to Fish Hoek where they disembark for a Green Cab ride to Cape Point and then return back to Cape Town.
The cost per person is R600 – which includes the train ride, cab ride, entry into the Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Point entrance fee, tour guide and security.
Project partner, The Green Cab, is Cape Town’s first eco-transport company and began with a fleet of eco-friendly cabs. The Green Cab have reduced their carbon footprint by converting the petrol component of its fleet to run on dual-fuel, and the diesel component to Biodiesel which achieves a saving of fifteen to twenty percent in carbon emissions.
City of Cape Town Alderman, Felicity Purchase, mayoral committee member for Economic Development and Tourism said: “The Southern Line route is the most unique train experience. Nowhere else in the world can you look out the window during a train journey and see whales, dolphins, trek fishermen, kayakers, and surfers sharing the sea with swimmers and kite surfers – all this while passing through a working fishing harbour at Kalk Bay. Clovelly Station is the only station in the world that has a sign saying: ‘No fishing from platform.’ We now have a way to take this experience further through this unique Rail and Ride project, with Green Cabs (running on alternative fuels that save up to 20 percent in carbon emissions) available at the station to take passengers from Simonstown along the coastal road to Cape Point. This exciting Rail and Ride offers the promise of fulfilling a unique gap, in providing tourists with education, scenic, cost-effective, and low carbon transport to experience the history and scenic beauty of the entire Cape Peninsula.”
Mariette du-Toit Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism said: “This new venture is an example of where the future of tourism in Cape Town needs to go. Cape Town Tourism is dedicated to a sustainable future for tourism in our city. To do this we need to alter our perceptions and be creative in our endeavors and see that there are exciting new ways of doing things. The new Rail and Ride promises to be a one-in-a-million trip. It really is the future of travel, and we are proud to be showcasing it to our 2010 FIFA World Cup™ visitors.”
The Rail and Ride service will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, departing from Platform Five at the Cape Town Station.
For more information, contact The Green Cab on 086 184 3473 or call Cape Town Tourism on 021 487 6800.