IT IS shocking that with the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport system set to be launched soon only the government and taxi associations are engaged in negotiations. Commuters, who are directly affected, are deliberately excluded.
When the taxi industry engages in strikes, passengers are affected. When associations fight over routes, commuters pay with their lives. But without commuters there can be no taxi industry. So commuters should be at the core of these consultations.
Until now commuters - particularly in the so-called townships - had no alternative in terms of public transport.
Needless to say, the various taxi associations with disparate routes affect commuters in terms of time, budget and the inevitably inherentviolence.
For instance, a commuter from Soweto en route to Sandton does not commute directly to that destination since Sandton is controlled by another association.
If one association is deemed to have encroached on another's territory, violence ensues and once again commuters are caught in the crossfire.
Notwithstanding these limitations taxis have done a great job. Without them many South Africans could not reach work or receive visitors.
But the growing population cannot be left to taxis. Their limitations render them unable to deliver a good and effective service because of the manner in which it is structured.
The BRT, on the other hand, will have a dedicated route that will save money and time as well as lessen traffic congestion.
While I am fortunate enough to drive a car the BRT will encourage the use of public transport and help address increasing traffic volumes in the city.
I will leave my car at home and board the BRT as soon as this is up and running.
Councillor Sipho Ndlela, Joburg