Officials Say Johannesburg's BRT is underused

Pretoria - Travelling in public buses to attend meetings can be a difficult task but Rehana Moosajee, the City of Johannesburg Mayoral Committee Member responsible for transport, gave it a go.

Today is Car Free Day where everybody is encouraged to leave their cars at home and use public transport.

At 5am, Moosajee took public transport from her home in Lenasia to an early meeting at the Johannesburg Roads Agency in Sauer Street.

At 8am, she travelled to the Chancellor House east-bound station in Market Street to catch the Rea Vaya bus to promote its services on the inner city route.

Starting from today until Friday, all the buses on the C3 route will be operating free of charge.

The ride normally costs R3.50 and travels in a circular route from downtown Jo'burg into Braamfontein, passing the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Metro Centre, Constitutional Court and Joubert Park before returning to its starting point in the inner city. "We realise that more marketing needs to happen." said Moosajee.

The C3 route is still under-utilised, despite the fact that it is ideal for students travelling from Soweto to Wits.

Mpho Mthetha, a student who takes the Rea Vaya bus every day from Soweto to Wits, said: "The service is very good, but sometimes we do wait for the buses for very long."

Mthetha takes the Rea Vaya T1 trunk route service from her house in Protea, Soweto, into the city. She disembarks at Chancellor House station, where she waits for the C3 bus to Braamfontein.

Students travelling from Soweto to the University of Johannesburg campus in Doornfontein can also make use of the Rea Vaya buses.

In this case, they only need to take one bus on the T1 trunk route service from Soweto to the Doornfontein Campus station in Charlton Road.

Free trips were also made available on Gautrain's feeder buses for passengers commuting to and from the Gautrain's Sandton and Rhodesfield Stations and stops along the respective routes.

Bus stops are available approximately every 500m, along seven bus routes in Sandton, Wendywood, Rivonia, Randburg, Fourways, Rosebank and Rhodesfield.

Nthambeleni Gabara
- BuaNews