BRT users to purchase return tickets from today

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Johannesburg - Commuters using the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System will from today need to purchase return trip tickets as that it what was originally intended by the system.

"Unfortunately, the City now has to withdraw the initial two hour leeway period. From this Wednesday, 23 September 2009, commuters will need to purchase tickets for both travelling to their destination and back again as originally intended by the system," City of Johannesburg's Member of Mayoral Committee for Transportation, Rehana Moosajee, said in a statement.

She said the two-hour leeway period in which commuters could use their tickets was withdrawn due to abuse of the system.

The leeway period was initially introduced to counter time delays and to ensure that commuters would have enough time on their ticket to get them from distant feeder areas in Soweto to the main trunk route stations.

However, Moosajee said the city found that this had resulted in certain commuters selling or handing over their tickets to other users to facilitate unpaid-for trips, thereby abusing the system.

"The long leeway-period coupled to the relatively short trunk route trips operated in the starter service, also in some instances, allowed return journeys on a fare that was only intended for a single journey and would, if continued, without a doubt influence the ability of the Rea Vaya to transport passengers for any length of time at the current low fares," Moosajee said.

She reminded passengers wishing to make use of both the trunk and CBD circle routes to buy both a R5 ticket and a R3 ticket, with the R5 ticket to be validated at the boarding station and the R3 ticket on the complementary bus.

"Commuters should remember that access to complementary buses will only be through the front door of the complementary bus as the validation machine is situated there and passengers will mostly embark at bus stops rather than stations."

The BRT system is a key component of the Department of Transport's integrated transport network plan which government is implementing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities. It is hoped the system will promote the use of public transport ahead of the soccer spectacle.

Johannesburg became the first city to launch this mode of transport system three weeks ago, which is expected to be rolled out to other major metropolitan areas around the country.