The City of Johannesburg aims to bring its Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system to Sandton central within the next two years.
Rea Vaya started operations in 2009 and already runs between areas such as Parktown, Doornfontein and Soweto.
“As the country’s financial hub, Sandton central attracts many people each day for business, tourism, shopping and pleasure,” says Sandton Central Management District city improvement district manager Elaine Jack.
“The infrastructure improvement to roads, pavements and public transport the BRT introduces supports Sandton central’s position at the forefront of well-managed central business districts.”
Sandton central will be a key destination in the R3-billion Phase 1C of Rea Vaya, which began construction in 2014.
This phase is expected to add 245 new buses to the 277-bus fleet that already operates within the Rea Vaya system.
Phase 1C will comprise 16 km of dedicated trunk route that will extend Rea Vaya’s route map from Parktown to Alexandra, and on to Sandton and beyond, with further complementary and feeder routes to operate to and from areas such as Sunninghill, Midrand and Ivory Park.
The first 12.6 km of the new trunk route will connect to the current Rea Vaya service at Empire and Victoria avenues.
It will continue along Empire and Clarendon roads and traverse Louis Botha avenue, which becomes Pretoria Main road, until its intersection with Lees street, in Wynberg.
The next adjoining 4 km section will run from Alexandra to Sandton, from the corner of Pretoria Main road and Lees street, crossing the M1 highway to Katherine drive, into West street and to the Sandton Gautrain station.
Future plans for Phase 1C include joining the trunk route to Rosebank, Greenstone, Ivory Park, Rabie Ridge and Midrand.
The project also adds two new bridges across the M1 highway – one for BRT buses and pedestrians and the other for cyclists and pedestrians.
It also includes widening Sandspruit bridge – the gateway to Sandton central on Katherine street, between Marlboro and Grayston drives.
The bridge is being rebuilt and expanded from two lanes to six lanes, with the two centre lanes reserved for Rea Vaya. This project should be ready in September.
The new Rea Vaya infrastructure will also feature 30.5 km of walking and cycling paths and a dedicated cycle and walking path from Alexandra to Sandton.
Phase 1C will also have a number of interchanges with other public transport modes, such as the Gautrain stations in Sandton and Alexandra (Marlboro station).
Rea Vaya will have at least two stations in Sandton central.
There will be several stops along the route, which will begin at the Katherine drive Rea Vaya median station, turn right into West street, right into Rivonia road, left into Fredman drive, left into Fifth street and left to the Rivonia road Rea Vaya station, next to the Sandton Gautrain station.