The team will have specialist skills and experience in rail operations and engineering, business restructuring and development, infrastructure, rolling stock, concessioning, and stations. The City of Cape Town says four bids were received before the deadline for submissions on February 28.

Once appointed, the team will support the study into the feasibility of transferring control of commuter rail functions to the City and provide a detailed plan for incremental devolution of services to local control.

A business plan for the devolution of commuter rail operations was approved by Cape Town City Council in October 2017. The business plan proposed a phased transfer of operations, enabling the city to “acquire the necessary skills and develop the additional capacity needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the service.”

The team of rail professionals will examine whether a partial or full transfer of control is feasible, and the potential risks involved. The intiial phase will establish options for the City’s business model, financial and other risks, and resource acquisition, including staff and other assets. Once this phase has been approved by the city council, a detailed business plan will be developed.