Routes galore for 2010

WITH only 48 days to go before the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Durban's transport authority says everything is on track.

The eThekwini municipality yesterday also confirmed it was all systems go for the improvement of the city's public transport system ahead of the tournament.

It said according to their plan the city's improved systems would be operational by June.

The announcement comes just days after a crippling taxi strike left thousands of commuters stranded.

Taxi operators downed tools for a day on Monday after accusing metro police of impounding their vehicles unfairly.

Carlos Esteves, eThekwini's deputy head of Road System Management, said the improvements included additional public transport lanes, upgrades to major intersections and a freeway management system.

He said that the introduction of the public transport information system to guide visitors on how to get from one part of the city to another using public transport was already on the cards.

"The PTI system can be accessed via techniques that include the internet, touch screens or by contacting a call centre operator," he said.

The city is home to more than 100 taxi associations, about 100 bus companies, and the Durban Transport and Metro Rail.

"These operators jointly provide approximately 1500 routes with 7500 stops or stations, and transport more than 300000 passengers daily," Esteves said.

Erik Moller, deputy head of public transport, said the three touch screens that will become operational on April 29 will be at uShaka Marine World, Sun Coast Casino and Entertainment World, and the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC.

"At the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the touch screen will be operational in May.

"Shopping centres that will be used as park-and-ride facilities for the World Cup will also have touch screens by the end of May," said Moller.