City-taxi project to gear up transport

Vusi Ndlovu

Vusi Ndlovu

The City of Johannesburg yesterday signed yet another ambitious initiative with the minibus taxi industry that would improve the public transport system.

Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo and Sicelo Mabaso of Top Six taxi group signed a memorandum of understanding in which they pledged to work together towards the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

The initiative, whose first phase would cost R2million, is planned to be up-and-running before the African Confederation Soccer Cup tournament in 2009 and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

BRT will have 55 stations starting from the south of Jozi to the north.

In preparation for the BRT, the City of Johannesburg took leaders in the taxi industry on a study tour to Bogota and Guayaquil in Colombia, to get first-hand information on how BRT was working there.

"We found that the situation in Colombia was different to ours and that of Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Europe. There they operate within towns close to each other while we operate from the townships far from the city," Mabaso said.