BRT system to change Tshwane landscape
Photo caption: Tshwane’s new BRT system will go a long way towards easing traffic congestion in the city.
By April 2014, commuters in and around Tshwane will be able to hop into sleek, new buses driving in special lanes to get to their destinations without being stuck in traffic.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is set to change the Tshwane landscape, with 51 bus stations being built in the middle of identified roads, which will all be upgraded.
Construction on the first phase, stretching from Nana Sita Street (formerly Skinner Street) in the city centre to Hatfield, was launched by Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
The mayor said the BRT trunk route would stretch from Kopanong in Soshanguve to Mamelodi - some 80 km of road. “At peak times, trunk services will operate every three to five minutes, with feeder services every 15 minutes. The first phase of the system will be operational in April 2014, while the entire system is expected to be completed and operational by October 2015.
The system will feature dedicated bus lanes along BRT trunk routes, stations at regular intervals, and terminals at major transport interchanges to enable greater efficiency and ease of use for passengers. Some 154 buses will be procured for the system.
According to the mayor, the system will be integrated into existing public transport facilities, which will ferry passengers to and from BRT stations, improving efficiency and impact for residents.
The Hatfield station will be in the middle of Arcadia Street with dedicated bus lanes on either side of the station. Once the stations have been built and buses procured, major benefits will include rapid, reliable, safe, efficient buses with a low carbon footprint.
Disadvantaged areas will also reap the benefits of Tshwane’s BRT system. “We have deliberately chosen the poor areas to be serviced by the Tshwane BRT because they deserve better. We will go to Atteridgeville, Mamelodi and Soshanguve,” Mayor Ramokgopa said.
One of the major benefits of the BRT system for the city is that this landmark project will create about 11 000 jobs.
He said the BRT system was far more than just a transport project and should be viewed as one of many projects that were contributing to the building of a national democratic society, he added.
According to the city, BRT passengers can expect reduced travel times between home, work, retail and social destinations, with improvements in traffic congestion and road safety. The number of traffic accidents is likely to reduce, and those that do occur will have less of an impact on traffic flow.
For more information, call the City of Tshwane Call Centre number: 012 358 2111/012 427 2111 or the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport: 011 355 7000