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Gauteng moves to improve public transport

Written by Nthambeleni Gabara
Residents of Gauteng can expect a fully integrated and developed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the next few years.

This is according to Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi.

“Together with the municipalities, we have developed a set of interventions aimed at transforming public transport into an integrated, reliable, accessible, safe and affordable system.

“Over the next three to five years, the full development of an integrated bus rapid transit system across the three metropolitan municipalities in our province will become visible,” he said.

Public transport use

The MEC said Rea Vaya and A re Yeng in Johannesburg and Tshwane respectively, already changing people’s perceptions of public transport.

“Work on a similar system in Ekurhuleni has already begun and we are examining the possibility of extending the system to the West Rand.

“The inclusion of the taxi industry in these processes and the Hlokomela campaign of the taxi associations will contribute to the integration of the public transport system across the Gauteng cityregion and improve the levels of safety on our roads,” MEC Vadi said.

He added the Gautrain was proof the province could deliver large-scale public transport infrastructure projects.

The Gautrain has an average daily ridership of 55 000 passengers and 21 000 passengers on its buses. It recently won the Global Air Rail Alliance Award for customer service excellence on its airport line.

A feasibility study on the further expansion of the Gautrain network is currently underway.

With regards to rail, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has prioritised the revitalisation of Metrorail in Gauteng.

The acquisition of new rolling stock, the renovation of train stations and the development of a new signalling system will transform day-to-day travel.

Freight Sector

The National Development Plan (NDP) recognises that South Africa’s economy is a transport-intensive economy.

The provincial government’s five-year plan is to provide effective freight access to major decentralised freight terminals on the northern and eastern periphery of the urban core of the Gauteng city-region by:

  • Decreasing the heavy freight vehicles numbers in core urban areas and central business districts.
  • Providing adequate linkages outside the province.
  • Supporting infrastructure to freight intermodal facilities.
  • Aligning freight intermodal facilities with Transnet’s Container Strategy for Gauteng and Durban port developments.