Waiting for the bus

Waiting for the bus

On congested roads where cars carrying one person rule, public transport seems to be a foreign concept. But this is about to change.

Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) seems to be taking off in South Africa and Rustenburg will soon be following Johannesburg and Cape Town with a BRT system of its own.

The Rustenburg municipality in North West is investing R3 billion to create a BRT system similar to the Rea Vaya service currently operational in Johannesburg. The system will be rolled out next year and its first services will commence in 2015. It is envisaged that the transport system will reduce the high traffic flow in the Rustenburg area.

“The project entails a number of important factors. We want to ensure an integrated public transport system for Rustenburg that improves our roads infrastructure to reduce traffic congestion, and we feel very strongly about reducing carbon emissions, thereby reducing pollution,” says Mpho Khunou, mayor of Rustenburg. “The project will benefit the entire community of Rustenburg.”

The bus rapid transit network in Johannesburg is on track, with the first phase fully operational and the second phase set to be operational towards the middle of 2012.

The first phase, Phase 1A, incorporates a 25,5 km trunk route service from Soweto to Ellis Park Stadium on the eastern edge of the inner city serviced by 26 stations and 143 buses. Phase 1B, the 18 km second phase, will run from Dobsonville in Soweto past the universities of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand to Parktown, utilising 140 buses.

According to Rehana Moosajee, member of the mayoral committee for transportation in Johannesburg, the BRT remains a flagship project but more needs to be done on non-BRT routes as well. “We need to integrate all aspects of public transport to improve the broader public transport experience to make it attractive for everybody. Our main objective is to create a public transport system that will get people out of their cars and onto public transport,” she says.

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