New era in commuting
Commuters will be able to use a new 24-hour passenger transport system in the next few years.
Transport director-general Mpumi Mpofu said yesterday that the new system would bring cheap, reliable and safe subsidised bus, taxi and rail transport to urban areas.
The system will ensure that poor people have access to transport, including those who work late.
Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said 5000 railway police officers will be guarding the railway network and its commuters in the next two years. Closed-circuit television will help secure other modes of transport.
"The plan will change the face of transport in this country for commuters. We want to see ordinary South Africans enjoy their democracy with affordable, reliable and safe transport," he said.
The 2010 World Cup is serving as a catalyst for the transport plan in those cities that will host matches..
Radebe said that the bosses of Fifa, and the 2010 Local Organising Committee, had expressed their satisfaction with the transport plans and the preparations being made to upgrade public transportation.
Mpofu said yesterday that the taxi recapitalisation plan was in full swing and that the last province to fully implement it, Gauteng, was expected to launch its programme at the end of this month. Gauteng has a third of the taxis in the country.
More than 2220 taxis have been scrapped and more than R94million has paid to 1940 taxi owners in compensation.