All systems go for public transport
Joburg residents can view a model station of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit in the city centre.
Big wigs of the transport industry, who included Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, Gauteng transport MEC Ignatius Jacobs, Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo and taxi operators converged at Edith Cavell Street in Joubert Park yesterday to launch a prototype version of a station.
The station is one of the 150 that will be completed by May next year, in time for the Confederations Cup and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
It has three doors that will open on to the same level as the bus to allow disabled people easy access , has a rest area, audio and visual aids for those who are visually and audio impaired, CCTV cameras, route maps and a ticket booth.
Radebe urged taxi operators and owners to be part of the project that is set to change the face of the public transport system.
"Since the entire system is based on 18- to 24-hour service, there will be dedicated road space for the public transport service. Thus the taxi industry will also be operating Rea Vaya buses, normal buses as well as recap-specific vehicles on the different parts of the system.
"This will graduate the taxi industry into public transport operators. They will be reimbursed based on kilometres operated as opposed to the number of passengers," he said.
Sicelo Mabaso of Top Six said they are still negotiating with the Johannesburg council to establish exactly how the new system will benefit them.