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Joburg developing into a public transport friendly city

With public transport demand expected to almost double by 2040, the City of Johannesburg is increasingly prioritising investment in public transport infrastructure and services across the metropolis.

The city of Johannesburg said on their website that it has recognised that enhancing mobility through the provision of reliable public transport will play a key role in improving Johannesburg’s economic viability and competitiveness.

“Enhancing mobility throughout Johannesburg is also in line with the City’s priority of growing the economy by at least 5% and reducing unemployment by 6% by 2021,” the website said.

The Johannesburg Transport Department is making the use of public and non-motorised transport an increasingly attractive and viable option through strategic public transport infrastructure development and investment initiatives.

The public transport morning peak-hour demand is predicted to total 617 000 commuters by 2040, from 298 000 in 2010, according to the City’s 2017-2018 Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

“Public transport demand in Johannesburg is thus projected to more than double over the next 25 years,” reads the IDP document.

To make public transport more attractive and to begin to plan for future growth, the City has allocated its Transport Department a capital expenditure budget of more than R1.9-billion for the 2017-2018 financial year.

The expansion of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system is on track, with the rollout of the Phase 1C route – along Louis Botha and Katherine avenues, between the Johannesburg inner City, Alexandra and the Sandton CBD in Region E – expected to be completed by October 2018.

The City’s BRT system was first introduced in 2006 with the establishment of Phase 1A, a 25.5km trunk route from Soweto to the Johannesburg CBD and Ellis Park with 31 stations. This was followed by Phase 1B, a 16.7km trunk route from Soweto to the CBD via the western suburbs of Westdene, Parktown and Braamfontein with 17 stations. The 17.2km Phase 1C route will have 10 stations.

Future plans for BRT

In the new financial year, the City will spend more than R643-million on Rea Vaya BRT operations alone.
The City also runs Metrobus, which transports more than 50 000 passengers daily, according to the City.

To deliver this key service, the City has allocated R77.75-million to its public bus passenger service – including R58-million to purchase new buses, R9.5-million to convert the existing fleet to run on gas and diesel, R4-million on the refurbishment of the engines and gearboxes of identified existing fleet and R3.75-million on alterations and upgrades.

The City has also created a single public transport website, mobisite and mobile application called Vaya Moja, which will include comprehensive information on public transport routes, times, prices and, in future, minibus-taxi services.

In Region B, the City will spend about R1.5-million in the 2017-2018 financial year on the design and construction of a park-and-ride facility in Greenside.
In Region D, which includes most parts of Soweto, the City will spend R25-million on the design and construction of a public transport facility in Zola and about R2-million on the development of complete streets for non-motorised and multi-modal use between Orlando East and the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg in Pimville.

Another R13-million will be spent on the development of non-motorised transport facilities and pedestrian walkways linking the Dube, Merafe and Mzimhlophe railway stations.

In Region F, in the inner city, more than R10-million has been allocated for the development of dedicated public transport lanes. More than R3-million has been set aside for nodal regeneration projects in Braamfontein Precinct and Gandhi Square.

In Region G, southern Johannesburg, the City will spend a total of R72-million on the establishment of three public transport facilities – R25-million in Driezik, another R25-million in Orange Farm Ext 17 and R22-million in Zakariyya Park.

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