BRT is cheap, enjoyable and free of stress

A WEEK ago I had the pleasure of using the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport for the first time from Ellis Park Station to the Carlton Centre in the Joburg CBD.

After lunch I returned to Ellis Park Station within two hours. It was an exciting and eye-opening trip that cost me a mere R5.

I enjoyed the trip tremendously because I re-familiarised myself with my city and saw and heard sights and sounds that I have not experienced for ages.

Normally, when driving to the Carlton Centre, I struggle with parking, and even when I do find a space it is likely to be far from the centre.

And, of course, there is always the lingering apprehension that my car might be broken into, so once I have finished my business, I pay a car guard a minimum of R5 for his services.

Ellis Park is the first station when driving east. The bus was full and some passengers where standing after we left the third station.

My fellow passengers were relaxed, chatting among themselves, reading newspapers or conversing on cellphones.

They were oblivious to or simply didn't care that a few days earlier a BRT bus was shot at and some passengers sustained injuries. Schoolchildren who commute from Soweto to the city said they preferred BRT since it is much cheaper than a taxi.

The bus is clean, it moves quietly at a reasonable speed and one is able to enjoy the view of our uniquely beautiful, vibrant and exciting city.

While aspects of the BRT can be improved, including benches at the station for senior citizens and the disabled and the availability of timetables, I'll always use BRT to the inner city. It is a stress-free, enjoyable and cheap.

Councillor Sipho NdlelaDA - City of Joburg