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Public Transport News

Stability and cohesion a way forward for African rail sector

By: Simon Sonnekus     29th July 2016 Companies are under pressure from government and the public to embark on new projects while there are still projects that need to be completed. The countless delays across the rail expansions are concerning, says the RailRoad Association of South Africa (RRA). Negative sentiments by the industry... 

Inspection device to provide safety in rail operations

By: Simon Sonnekus     29th July 2016 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed a prototype survey and inspection device (SID) to survey and inspect South Africa’s railway lines, which is intended to improve safety and operations. Along with reporting on the condition of the rail infrastructure, the SID... 

Inspection device  to provide safety in  rail operations
DEBUT The CSIR's survey and inspection device (SID) was debuted at Africa Rail 2016

Local content priority for PRASA contract

29th July 2016 French multinational rail transport company Alstom, which has a controlling stake in local rail transport consortium Gibela, has reinforced its commitment to ensuring local content forms a significant portion of the multibillion-rand contract signed between Gibela and the Passenger Rail Agency of... 

Gautrain agency crunching numbers on new lines, tunnels and rolling stock

By: Irma Venter     29th July 2016 Building and operating the Gautrain rail system has always been a complex numbers game, ever since former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa first announced the project in 2000. Six years on from the start of operations in 2010, not much has changed. 

Gautrain agency crunching numbers on new lines, tunnels and rolling stock

Transport costs undermining African farmers

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2016 A study shows that agricultural fertiliser can land at the Kenyan Port of Mombasa at $350/t, and then sell for 300% to 400% more 1 000 km inland, says Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa CEO Argent Chuula. “The same is... 

Public transport operators need to do ‘more with less’

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2016 South African public transport operators need “to do more with less” as the economy contracts and the national fiscus faces increasing financial pressure, says National Treasury intergovernmental relations deputy director-general Malijeng Ngqaleni. She notes that the current system of public... 

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

By: Irma Venter     21st July 2016 Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in South Africa generally have lower passenger demand, poorer financial performance and higher subsidy requirements than initially forecast, says Professor Christo Venter of the University of Pretoria’s Centre of Transport Development. One cause of poor passenger... 

High-speed BRT lanes not silver bullet they appear to be – UP study

Daimler runs first self-driving BRT bus in Amsterdam

By: Irma Venter     18th July 2016 Daimler Buses on Monday announced that its Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot had driven autonomously for the first time on a route of around 20 km in Amsterdam, on a section of the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Europe, connecting Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport with the city of... 

Daimler runs first self-driving BRT bus in Amsterdam
The Future Bus

Rea Vaya to reach Sandton central by 2018

By: Irma Venter     18th July 2016 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. 

Rea Vaya to reach Sandton central by 2018
Sandton Central Management District city improvement district manager Elaine Jack

Company strengthens ties with African country

15th July 2016 Global engineering, project management and construction company Bechtel has extended its partnership with Gabon, which it has been working with since 2010 to create and implement a $25-billion national infrastructure plan. 

Company strengthens ties with African country
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Construction of infrastructure across Gabon will continue under Bechtel supervision

Metrobus suspends services as bus strike continues

By: African News Agency      11th July 2016 Metrobus said the illegal strike by bus drives continued on Monday and services had been suspended. Metrobus Corporate Services GM Ranti Mahlabana said: "It does appear that this is a continuation of an illegal strike that started on Friday afternoon". 

First new passenger trains to enter into service in October

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2016 The first new passenger trains to be delivered according to a multibillionrand contact signed between Gibela and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), are set to enter service in October, says PRASA strategic asset development group executive Piet Sebola. He says the first new blue... 

Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality hosts investment tour

By: David Oliveira     8th July 2016 The Ekurhuleni municipality has given journalists insight into some of the key industrial and infrastructure developments in the metropolitan, including the Harambee bus-rapid transit (BRT) system and the Lords View Industrial Park. Ekurhuleni economic development facilitator Yusuf Mayet... 

PRASA to display train replica

By: Creamer Media Reporter      7th July 2016 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) plans to unveil a replica of its newly purchased trains at the Pretoria station for public viewing from the end of July. The showpiece, which arrived at the station on Thursday, was meant to showcase the new trains it aimed to roll out over the... 

PRASA to display train replica

Phase 1 of MyCiti done, ‘obsession’ with BRT ‘waning’ – Heron 

By: Irma Venter     7th July 2016 Cape Town’s MyCiti bus service transported its highest ever number of passengers in May this year, said Cape Town Transport MMC Brett Heron on Thursday. Addressing delegates at the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, he said MiCiti had seen 700 000 passenger journeys in May. The... 

Phase 1 of MyCiti done, ‘obsession’ with BRT ‘waning’ – Heron

Current public transport subsidies not sustainable, warns Treasury

By: Irma Venter     4th July 2016 South African public transport operators need “to do more with less” as the economy contracted and the national fiscus faced increasing financial pressure, said National Treasury intergovernmental relations deputy director-general Malijeng Ngqaleni on Monday as she addressed the Southern African... 

Current public transport subsidies not sustainable, warns Treasury

DoT CFO joins PRASA as acting group CEO 

By: Natasha Odendaal     1st July 2016 The Department of Transport (DoT) has welcomed the appointment of Collins Letsoalo as acting group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), effective immediately. Letsoalo was moving from his position as CFO at the DoT, assuming the role until PRASA’s board resolved several... 

Private sector rail entry in Italy sees jump in rail market share

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2016 Airlines in Italy have received some surprise competition from high-speed rail links over the last four years, says TRA Consulting CEO and NTV studies office head Professor Andrea Giuricin. NTV operates the Italotreno nonstop service between Milan and Rome, in competition with State operator... 

Private sector rail entry in Italy sees jump in rail market share

S African taxi associations brand Uber as a 'swine flu' 

By: African News Agency      30th June 2016 The regulation and legalisation of Uber drivers in the country took centre stage at a taxi indaba in Johannesburg on Thursday as the South African taxi associations described the app-based service as a "swine flu". The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) and the National Taxi Alliance... 

Unitrans’s Megabus procures first Scania Euro 6, CNG buses, Tetra 4 to supply local gas 

30th June 2016 Unitrans’s subsidiary Megabus has procured ten Scania, 280 horsepower, 100% compressed natural gas buses. Megabus will trial these buses for the next five years at its Free State operations. Mia Breytenbach tells us more. 

Unitrans’s Megabus procures first Scania Euro 6, CNG buses, Tetra 4 to supply local gas
Unitrans’s Megabus procures first Scania Euro 6, CNG buses, Tetra 4 to supply local gas

Government part of the dysfunction in the taxi industry, says Gauteng Premier Makhura

By: African News Agency      30th June 2016 Gauteng Premier David Makhura said government had a hand in the dysfunction of the local taxi industry. On Thursday, during the Ntirhisano Provincial Taxi Indaba held at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg, Makhura said he was aware of the corruption by government officials who themselves... 

Plans for municipal entity to run Durban’s troubled bus service put on hold

By: African News Agency      30th June 2016 The establishment of a new entity to run Durban’s troubled municipal bus service will not take place at the start of July as had been promised. A statement released by the eThekwini Metro Municipality on Wednesday said plans to establish a municipal bus service had been placed on hold. 

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton

By: Irma Venter     29th June 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton
Photo by Duane Daws
Growthpoint's e-bike charging hub

First new PRASA trains to enter service in Pretoria in October

By: Irma Venter     27th June 2016 The first new passenger trains to be delivered according to a multibillionrand contact signed between Gibela and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), were set to enter service in October, said PRASA strategic asset development group executive Piet Sebola on Monday. Speaking at a... 

First new PRASA trains to enter service in Pretoria in October
Photo by Duane Daws
PRASA strategic asset development group executive Piet Sebola

New trains and infrastructure on track

24th June 2016 A full-size mock-up of the Riyadh Metropolis train manufactured by rail transport company Alstom was unveiled earlier this month in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia during a ceremony in the presence of the Riyadh governor Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Transport Minister Suleiman Al Hamdan and... 

Transport demand underestimated

By: Victor Moolman     24th June 2016 The number of passengers that could use rail transport has been grossly underestimated, says WSP Parsons|Brinckerhoff Africa (WSP) Transportation and Infrastructure divisional director Vishaal Lutchman. 

Transport demand underestimated
Photo by Duane Daws
RAIL SYSTEM Transnet is upgrading the freight rail infrastructure across South Africa

Summit brings governments, operators and investors together

24th June 2016 Regional and international stakeholders for East and Central Africa's transport infrastructure sector will be gathering once again at the seventh East & Central Africa Roads & Rail Infrastructure Summit 2016 (Roads & Rail 2016) to be held on September 27 and 28 in Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania. 

Summit brings governments, operators and investors together
Photo by Reuters
ZIMBABWE RAIL Zimbabwean government authorities will be attending the summit to discuss the current state of the country’s railway system

Partnership to increase infrastructure growth

24th June 2016 Three international firms consisting of the technology developer General Electric (GE) Africa, multi-industry company Mara Group and financial institution Atlas Merchant Capital have partnered to help address infrastructure challenges in Africa through investments in equity projects such as rail... 

Partnership to increase  infrastructure growth
Photo by Duane Daws
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS The partnership hopes to improve infrastructure projects across Africa

German train operator orders more train units

24th June 2016 Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has won a contract to supply German rail operator Abellio Rail Südwest GmbH with 43 Bombardier Talent 2 multiple unit trains. The order is valued at about €215-million. 

German train operator orders more train units
INCREASED PASSENGER COUNT The new multiple unit trains will have up to 273 seats in each train

New US products showcased at Africa Rail

By: Victor Moolman     24th June 2016 New material testing equipment from US-based company MTS that can determine the strength and durability of rail infrastructure will be showcased at the Africa Rail 2016 conference and exhibition by laboratory equipment and services suppliers IMP Scientific & Precision. 

New US products showcased at Africa Rail
Photo by Duane Daws
WELD TEST Testing equipment provided by IMP test the strength of welds

Rail upgrade project largest in the world

By: Victor Moolman     24th June 2016 The new rolling stock procurement programme from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is the largest passenger rail and system upgrade in the world, says professional service firm KPMG. 

Rail upgrade project largest  in the world
PRASA TRAINS The new trains that will work on the upgraded infrastructure system are larger and faster than previous trains

List of local suppliers for new passenger trains continues to grow

By: Irma Venter     24th June 2016 The number of local suppliers in the R51-billion contract to produce 600 new passenger trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has reached 32. Six trains have been completed and shipped to South Africa to date. These units form part of an order of 20 that are being imported... 

At least 100 injured in KZN train collision

By: News24Wire      23rd June 2016 At least 100 people have been injured after two trains collided between the Mobeni and Havenside areas of KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday afternoon, Marshall Security said. The private security company said it was unclear what had caused the accident. 

Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality hosts investment tour

By: David Oliveira     22nd June 2016 The Ekurhuleni municipality has given journalists insight into some of the key industrial and infrastructure developments being built in the metropolitan, including the Harambee bus-rapid transit (BRT) system and the Lords View Industrial Park. During the media tour, on Tuesday, Ekurhuleni senior... 

New public transport by-law to tackle violence, intimidation – eThekwini

By: News24Wire      21st June 2016 Violence, intimidation and the use of force by those offering public transport will not be tolerated, according to new by-laws proposed by the eThekwini Metro Municipality. "The behaviour of drivers, conductors and passengers is covered by the by-law. This includes prohibiting the use of force,... 

South Africa seeks comment on draft carbon-offset rules 

By: Terence Creamer     20th June 2016 Draft carbon offset regulations have been released by the National Treasury for public comment, with a submission deadline of July 29. Under the proposed rules, firms can reduce their carbon tax liability by between 5% and 10% of their total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by investing in... 

South Africa seeks comment on draft carbon-offset rules

R400m Dunnottar train plant contract awarded to black-owned firms

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2016 Gibela has awarded the Trencon Black Jills joint venture (JV) the R400-million contract to build the main site buildings at its Dunnottar train manufacturing plant, on the East Rand. The plant will be used to produce the 580 trains Gibela is to supply to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa... 

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