PAYMENT DISPUTE PUTS BRAKES ON TAXI OWNERS AND JOBURG CITY BRT DEAL

ON THE MOVE:Taxi drivers are still negotiating with the government about their participation in the bus system that is making revolutionary changes to public transport in South Africa. Pic. SYDNEY SESHIBEDI. 07/10/2009. ©  ST.

Reya vaya. BRT's Thokoza park station in Soweto as the buses do business. The world class bus system was piloted on the route between Soweto and Ellis park in Johannesburg and will be rolled out in other cities later. The taxi drivers are still talking to government about their participation in the bus system that is making revolutionary changes to public transport in South Africa. PICTURE: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI 07/10/2009
ON THE MOVE:Taxi drivers are still negotiating with the government about their participation in the bus system that is making revolutionary changes to public transport in South Africa. Pic. SYDNEY SESHIBEDI. 07/10/2009. © ST. Reya vaya. BRT's Thokoza park station in Soweto as the buses do business. The world class bus system was piloted on the route between Soweto and Ellis park in Johannesburg and will be rolled out in other cities later. The taxi drivers are still talking to government about their participation in the bus system that is making revolutionary changes to public transport in South Africa. PICTURE: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI 07/10/2009

REA Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system has suffered another setback.

REA Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system has suffered another setback.

The formation of a permanent bus operating company has been delayed because the parties cannot agree on how much taxi owners will be paid for mileage.

The City of Johannesburg and the taxi associations that have bought into the BRT were supposed to have formed the company by the end of this month. But this has been pushed back.

The city, which is spearheading BRT and taxi associations in the negotiations, has confirmed that money was a cause of the delay.

Rehana Moosajee, a member of the mayoral committee on transport, and Sicelo Mabaso, who represents taxi associations, said yesterday that pricing was the last hurdle in sealing the BRT deal.

"We will meet for another round of talks next week. We hope we will finalise the matter," Moosajee said.

Mabaso was also upbeat that they would sign the deal soon.

"We are hoping that we may agree when we meet next week. I will be glad if we can sign the deal by the end of February."

The initial plan was to conclude the deal, which would have taxi bosses taking over operations, before the end of January. Both parties confirmed that they could reach final agreement by April.

The BRT is currently operated by a temporary company. It was launched in August last year.

Initially the launch had been scheduled for May but the United Taxi Association Forum (Utaf) protested.

Utaf launched an urgent court application at the Pretoria high court trying to stop the City of Johannesburg from going ahead with the plan. The court dismissed the case, saying it was not urgent.

Utaf's Ralph Jones said yesterday that they were consulting with their lawyers in a bid to launch a fresh challenge.

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