Taxi bosses, govt meet over BRT

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pretoria - Taxi operators, government and the City of Johannesburg were set to meet on Thursday following a suspension of a planned taxi strike.

The taxi operators are against an announcement by the City of Johannesburg that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will be extended with the introduction of more busses.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has commended the industry for calling off its strike. However he said government remained committed to implementing the project in partnership with all stakeholders

"The interest of the commuter remains paramount and therefore we will do everything possible to ensure the provision of safe, reliable, affordable and efficient public transport," said Ndebele.

The project, as part of efforts to improve public transport, had already been rolled out in Johannesburg, with Pretoria expected to follow soon.

The BRT system got off to a hesitant start last year as protesting taxi operators wanting a stake in the project brought the city to a standstill.

The taxi operators say they are against the implementation because it is putting them out of business, a claim dismissed by government.

The City of Johannesburg recently announced that it was ready to operate all the services scheduled for phase 1A.

There will be a new complementary service running directly from Dobsonville to the city centre and Ellis Park Station starting from next month.

There will also be feeder services transporting passengers from Naledi to Thokoza Park Station, from Jabavu to Lake View Station and from Mofolo to Boomtown Station. It will run from Regina Mundi church in Soweto, past the Orlando and FNB stadiums and end at Ellis Park stadium.