GauRide to transport fans during Confeds Cup
By Chris Bathembu
Johannesburg - More than 3 000 minibus taxis and 450 buses, branded with a GauRide logo, will be made available to transport soccer fans to stadia across Gauteng during the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The GauRide vehicles, which will be complemented by the recently launched iTransie 2 Ellispark! Service, will also ensure that all spectators can travel safely to the Confederations Cup games.
Both iTransie 2 Ellis Park! and GauRide are run in partnership with the taxi industry.
"Central to the hosting of the tournament will be the effectiveness and efficiency with which we help transport thousands of soccer supporters to the match venues," said MEC for Roads and Transport, Bheki Nkosi.
He was addressing over 100 invited guests who braved the chilly whether to witness the launch of the GauRide initiative on Wednesday.
GauRide, which will kick-off on Sunday when Bafana Bafana take on Iraq at Ellis Park, will transport fans five hours before the match starts and three hours after the final whistle.
The MEC said the drivers to be used for the GauRide initiative, have undergone extensive training on competency driving, customer care and loading and offloading skills.
"Drivers who have not undergone the training will not be allowed to operate," he said.
He further said the department will also be distributing 100 000 public transport maps to help travelers during the tournament and beyond.
The provincial government, he said, has also bought 2 000 Confederations Cup tickets to be distributed for free to disadvantaged communities across various townships.
He said his department was working with experts from previous host countries and other transport authorities to ensure Gauteng is ready to contribute to the success of both the Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Meanwhile, MEC for Community Safety Nkabisi Mosunkutu said security will be beefed up to ensure the safety of supporters in and around the stadia.
"It is vital that we understand that safety comes first during the tournament … and traffic officers, police and emergency officials will need to come on board," Mr Mosunkutu said.
He said police vehicles will be visible at all the venues throughout the tournament while strict crime prevention strategies will be applied to protect soccer fans. - BuaNews