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Public Transport News

Not all van-to-taxi conversions are unsafe, manufacturer avers 

By: Irma Venter     18th September 2009 Not all taxis converted from panel vans are illegal, unsafe vehicles, says Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) vans brand manager Nicolai Berger. 

BRT ups commuter tally to 16 000 passengers a day 

By: Irma Venter     15th September 2009 Statistics compiled for the first ten days of Johannesburg's Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system show that it transports an average of 16 000 people every day. This an 100% increase from the initial passenger count of 8 000 passengers, tallied shortly after the August 30 launch. “The... 

Government signs R200m 2010 bus deal

By: Irma Venter     11th September 2009 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has signed a R200-million agreement with MAN Truck & Bus South Africa to procure 110 Lion's Explorer intercity buses for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The first four locally assembled buses will be delivered this month, with the remainder to roll off... 

Joburg pushes ahead with bus innovation 
amid security threats

By: Irma Venter     11th September 2009 The City of Johannesburg finally cut the ribbon on its Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system at the end of August, despite an attempt by the South African National Taxi Council and the United Taxi Association Forum to halt the process two days before the event. 

BRT system settles at 8 000 daily users 

By: Irma Venter     4th September 2009 Following a tense first week of operations owing to taxi violence and some operational glitches, such as station doors not opening as they should, passenger numbers for the starter service of Johannesburg's Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system seems to have settled at around 8 000 passengers a... 

Rea Vaya service running normally following Tuesday's shooting incident

By: Irma Venter     2nd September 2009 Two people – a police officer and a passenger – were wounded on Tuesday night when occupants of a minibus taxi opened fire on a Rea Vaya bus. They were in a stable condition on Wednesday morning, reported news agency Sapa. Sunday's launch of the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit system was met with... 

BRT system under pressure as taxis strike

By: Irma Venter     31st August 2009 The City of Johannesburg said on Monday that it would work round the clock to iron out operational and capacity challenges following the official launch of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on Sunday. This followed reports that many taxis were not operating, despite the industry’s... 

Despite threats from taxi industry, Rea Vaya sees busy start as station doors open 

By: Irma Venter     30th August 2009 The City of Johannesburg on Sunday cut the ribbon on its Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system, despite a last minute attempt by the South African National Taxi Council and the United Taxi Association Forum on Friday to halt the process. Thousands of commuters showed up at Rea Vaya stations... 

Jhb council signs BRT operating contract

By: Irma Venter     28th August 2009 While the South African National Taxi Council was still in court to halt Sunday's start of Johannesburg's bus rapid transit (BRT) system, the city council on Friday signed an interim operational contract with a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company to operate the public transport system while... 

BRT launch to go ahead, taxi strike called off – Transport Minister

By: Irma Venter     27th August 2009 In the latest salvo fired in the war of words between government and some members of the taxi industry, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele vowed on Thursday that Johannesburg's Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system would start operations on Monday, August 31. Cabinet spokesperson Themba... 

Cabinet warns taxi industry over BRT violence 

27th August 2009 The government has reaffirmed its commitment to the implementation of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system and warned the taxi industry on Thursday that it would not tolerate threats of violence. Cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko said that threats of violence and actual violent conduct were... 

Transport dept unaware of BRT court interdict

By: Chanel de Bruyn     27th August 2009 The Department of Transport was on Thursday morning not aware that a court interdict had been filed by taxi associations in an attempt to suspend the start of the operation of the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system, in Johannesburg. Deputy director-general of public transport George... 

Joburg taxi industry supports BRT in principle   

By: Chanel de Bruyn     25th August 2009 The start of the operation of the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the City of Johannesburg was “supported in principle” by the Joburg Taxi Industry Negotiating Team for the Phase 1A contract, it said on Tuesday. The team comprised members of the taxi industry in Johannesburg who had... 

Jhb council shrugs off strike threat, vows to continue BRT rollout

By: Irma Venter     21st August 2009 The City of Johannesburg on Thursday vowed to go ahead with the rollout of its Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system on August 30, despite the threat of a national strike from the South African National Taxi Council. Santaco had earlier this week issued the notice of a strike in opposition to... 

Joburg ‘disappointed’ as taxi drivers threaten BRT strike  

By: Chanel de Bruyn     14th August 2009 It was “extremely disappointing” that some members of the taxi industry were threatening to protest against the Rea Vaya bus rapid-transit (BRT) system when it starts operating at the end of this month, before the negotiations with the taxi industry have been concluded, City of Johannesburg... 

Interim bus company to manage BRT while taxi negotiations continue   

By: Chanel de Bruyn     12th August 2009 City of Johannesburg executive mayor Amos Masondo said on Wednesday that he was confident that the city could reach an agreement with taxi operators regarding the Rea Vaya bus rapid-transit (BRT) system, which was ready to commence with a starter service on August 30. The public would be allowed... 

Joburg gets ready for Aug 30 BRT launch

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th August 2009 The City of Johannesburg was planning to start closing the dedicated lanes that were constructed for South Africa’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Rea Vaya, to public traffic, in preparation for the August 30 launch of the R1,6-billion Phase 1A. “The dedicated lanes were constructed... 

R25,4bn Gautrain project more than 65% complete 

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2009 Just under 150 km of track must be laid for the Gautrain project, which will link Johannesburg, Tshwane and the OR Tambo International Airport by 2011. 

Brazilian export credit agency to finance purchase of Joburg BRT fleet

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2009 The City of Johannesburg has - through HSBC Bank - arranged what it termed a “competitive loan” with the Brazilian BNDES Export Credit Agency (ECA) to fund the purchase of the 143-strong Rea Vaya bus fleet required for phase 1A of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system, set to start operations on... 

Govt ‘confident’ about taxi negotiations over BRT

By: Sapa     5th August 2009 The transport department is "confident" about the outcome of negotiations with the taxi industry on the soon-to-be introduced bus rapid transit (BRT) system, an official from the ministry said in Parliament on Wednesday. Mpumi Mpofu, the director general of the department, told Parliament's... 

Less than a year to go for Gautrain’s Airport – Sandton link 

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2009 The Gautrain rapid rail project has already been under construction for close to three years, with 10 500 people working on around 50 sites dotted across Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Construction on the project started at the end of September 2006. The 45-month first phase comprises... 

Govt is committed to taxi recap, but programme ‘was probably overambitious’, says Deputy Transport Minister

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2009 Government remains committed to the taxi recapitalisation project (TRP), and it will not abandon the process, says Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin. 

Joburg’s bus rapid-transit system 
to start operating on August 30

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2009 The City of Johannesburg has started the count-down to the August 30 kick-off of the Rea Vaya bus-rapid transit (BRT) system, says City of Johannesburg member of the mayoral committee for transport Rehana Moosajee. 

Nearly three years on, less than 12 months remain to ensure a 15-minute journey between Sandton and the airport

By: Irma Venter     31st July 2009 The Gautrain rapid-rail project has already spent close to three years under construction, with 10 500 people working on around 50 sites dotted across Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekhuruleni. 

Transport department assessing viability of bicycle manufacturing plant

By: Chanel de Bruyn     24th July 2009 The Department of Transport (DoT) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) were still in discussions regarding the “market and viability” of establishing a bicycle manufacturing or assembly plant for the DoT’s Shova Kalula, or Ride Easy, programme. The DoT in March issued an expression of... 

JHB council signs BRT bus financing deal 

By: Irma Venter     23rd July 2009 The City of Johannesburg said on Thursday that it had – through HSBC Bank – arranged what it termed a “competitive loan” with the Brazilian BNDES Export Credit Agency (ECA) to fund the purchase of the 143-strong Rea Vaya bus fleet required for phase 1A of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system, set... 

Joburg on track for Aug 30 BRT start – Moosajee  

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2009 The City of Johannesburg had started the count down to the August 30 kick-off of the Rea Vaya bus-rapid transit (BRT) system, said City of Johannesburg member of the mayoral committee for transport Rehana Moosajee on Tuesday. The BRT system's main routes would see buses run in dedicated lanes,... 

Taxi recap project was 'probably overambitious' – Cronin

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2009 Government remained committed to the taxi recapitalisation project (TRP), and it would not abandon the process, said Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin on Tuesday. However, he added that government had entered into discussions with the taxi industry as part of “a review” and a “joint... 

Gautrain operator signs big feeder-route bus contract

By: Irma Venter     17th July 2009 Bombela, the company building the Gautrain rapid-rail link, and the company which will operate it for 15 years, has signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) for the supply of 125 buses which will service the project’s feeder and distribution routes. 

Gautrain mulls cash injection to ensure phase one’s readiness for World Cup

By: Irma Venter     17th July 2009 Inflationary pressures have seen the cost of the Gautrain rapid-rail link escalate by R300-million to reach R25,4-billion, says Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe. 

Gautrain operator signs big feeder-route bus contract

By: Irma Venter     16th July 2009 Bombela, the company building the Gautrain rapid-rail link, and the company which will operate it for 15 years, has signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) for the supply of 125 buses which will service the project’s feeder and distribution routes. The luxury buses, all with Euro... 

Taxis must participate in all aspects of transport – Ndebele

By: Sapa     3rd July 2009 Government wants the taxi industry to participate in the entire transport value chain, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said on Friday. Speaking during debate in the National Assembly on his budget vote, Ndebele said on June 11 he had met over 2000 taxi industry representatives from taxi... 

SA looking to set up dedicated 2010 transport coordinating team

By: Creamer Media Reporter      2nd July 2009 The Department of Transport on Thursday stated that the FIFA organising committee had pointed out certain shortcomings with regard to transport, which had become apparent during the Confederations Cup. “Mistakes were created for us to learn from. By next week, FIFA will be writing to us as... 

Gautrain to cost extra R300m – Van der Merwe 

By: Irma Venter     2nd July 2009 Inflationary pressures had seen the cost of the Gautrain rapid-rail link escalate by R300-million to reach R25,4-billion, said Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe on Thursday. He noted that the public-private partnership had modelled the project on 4,5% to 5% inflation when it was... 

Joburg BRT project manager Stanway retires  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st July 2009 The project manager of the Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) project, Bob Stanway, has retired, the City of Johannesburg announced on Wednesday. The city would now advertise his post, along with other senior posts, such as that of operations manager, shortly. 

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