BRT users say everyone must join on Car-Free Day

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pretoria - Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system users have called on other commuters to leave their cars at home and "get on the bus" on Car-Free Day on Tuesday.

Sibusiso Mfumbotha, a regular user of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system from Orlando East, said the BRT system was "safe, quicker and much cheaper than using your own transport".

"I have been using the BRT system since its inception and I have saved a lot of money and time," said Mfumbotha, who went on to encourage people to take a Rea Vaya bus to work tomorrow.

Car-Free Day is marked on 20 October and is one of the highlights of Transport Month. It encourages commuters to use public transport in a bid to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

In Johannesburg, Transport Month could not have come at a better time, with the city's Rea Vaya BRT system in full swing.

Lerato Mano of Diepkloof, Soweto, said she would also be on one of the buses come Car-Free Day.

"I will be using BRT on the day and if I enjoy it then I will become a regular user. I'm wary of public transport but the BRT seems to be a good public transport option because I cannot stand traffic congestion," she said.

Another Sowetan, Thabo Modise of Moroka, told the Gauteng Provincial Government that he was also looking forward to using the BRT for the first time as he always used his own car to work.

"I can't wait for this day so that I can get my first ride in the BRT. It will be one of those old experiences as it will be the first time I use public transport since nine years ago," he said.

To emphasise the importance of Car-Free Day, the city and its provincial partner, the Department of Roads and Transport, have arranged several events, including a concert at the Johannesburg Stadium.

At the event the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Bheki Nkosi will highlight the benefits of using public transport.