Transport: getting about efficiently
Walking, cycling or using public transport are the best options in terms of our environment. They are also the cheapest options. However, urban planning over the years has neglected pedestrian and bicycle-friendly design and public transport systems have been underfunded, resulting in capacity shortfalls, lack of co-ordination on routes and safety issues.
New approaches to urban transport are being developed, but will take time to implement. In the meantime there are some important actions that drivers can take to get about more efficiently.
Find out about the public transport routes in your area.
Up-to-date timetables, fee and route information: www.capemetrorail.co.za
For more information contact the following toll free, all-hour numbers:
Metrorail general information: 0800 656 463
Metrorail crime: 0800 210 081
Golden Arrow bus services
Timetables and information: www.gabs.co.za.
For more information contact the following numbers:
Head office: 021 507 8800
Enquiries and complaints: 0801 21 21 11 and 0800 656 463
Walking and cycling
Whenever possible consider walking and cycling instead of getting into your car. This will save money as well as provide great health benefits.
If you are looking to buy a new car consider buying a fuel-efficient model – your choice of vehicle can make a substantial difference to your impact on the planet. With ever-increasing petrol and diesel prices this can also save you a substantial amount of money over the years.
Sharing lifts to and from work will immediately reduce the amount of fuel you use every month. This can also be relaxing and sociable. School lift clubs are also worth considering.
Smart or eco-driving
Keeping your car running efficiently and driving in the most fuel-effcient manner can make a big impact on your fuel consumption.
- Service your car regularly (at least every 10 000 km).
- Make sure your tyres are pumped at the correct pressure (recommended by the manufacturer).
- Underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 8%. NOTE: A tyre pressure that is too low not only increases consumption, but also markedly reduces its life.
- Use multi-grade oil in your engine as it reduces drag.
- Switch to radial-ply tyres as they offer less rolling resistance and longer life than the cross-ply variety.
- Accelerate slowly, changing up through the gears as soon as practically possible. A car runs more effciently at lower revs.
- Avoid stop-start driving. Every time you brake, energy produced from acceleration is wasted.
- Anticipate traffic lights and brake less – this could save you as much as 18% of your fuel per tank.
- Do not speed. A car travelling at 110 km per hour, uses up to 25% more fuel than it would at 90 km per hour.
- Roof racks and open windows increase air resistance and fuel consumption by as much as 20%.
- Air conditioners use about 10% more fuel when on.
- Use a logbook to record your fuel purchases and kilometres travelled in order to set new goals.
source: SMART Living Handbook