Mention of BRT, and our driver totally loses his cool

The BRT project is like a red rag to taxi drivers. BRT is a new transport system that the government is putting in place to cope with the needs of the 2010 World Cup and for South Africa's future needs.

The BRT project is like a red rag to taxi drivers. BRT is a new transport system that the government is putting in place to cope with the needs of the 2010 World Cup and for South Africa's future needs.

It has designated bus routes from Johannesburg to Ekurhuleni. Construction is under way in these areas, which is disrupting traffic, causing misery to drivers and passengers.

The taxis are supposed to feed their passengers into the BRT, which will be the main carrier. The plan has met with fierce opposition from those in the taxi industry.

Workers claim they have to wake up earlier in the mornings to make it to work at their usual time. Tempers are short and there have been several altercations because of the traffic jams all over the two mega cities. The miracle is that no road rage fatalities have been reported.

A reader, in a shaky voice, called to report a verbal fight she had with a taxi driver. She was en route home at 6.45pm near Braamfontein on a Rosebank to Bree Street taxi route.

The impatient and speeding driver decided to skip a red traffic light. As usual the women in the taxi screamed about their "orphaned children".

They begged the driver to take pity on them and slow down. He ignored them until one said: "That's why we want BRT. We can't wait to use buses instead of these coffin fillers."

This so enraged the taxi driver that he threatened to eject her there and then in the dark.

"I am going to leave you here for your BRT," he said.

He then promised that he would personally see the woman into a bus and then burn her inside that BRT.

After that, understandably, no one objected to his driving display. Everyone instead prayed hard to the Almighty for deliverance.

The joke that St Peter and Abraham let a taxi driver into heaven without bothering to check his page in the judgment book may be true. After all, the driver managed to focus every passenger's thoughts on the Saviour.

Another reader claims that a string of taxi drivers carved a new road in the veld when they hit a traffic jam just outside Pennyville in Soweto.

This was during the morning rush hour from Soweto to the city. An enterprising (or foolhardy) driver, impatient after waiting a full five minutes in stalled traffic, drove across the veld to connect to another road in an effort to beat the traffic jam.

As soon as he did this, all taxi drivers behind him followed him like sheep. Passengers in other taxis which were stuck fast could only watch enviously as the new road carried other workers to their destinations.

We all know the perennial boast of the taxi industry: "This taxi will take you anywhere, anytime."

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