Gauteng riding into the future

Monday, June 18, 2018

By Gaopalelwe Sebeela

The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport says it is making significant investments to help transform, modernise and re-industrialise the provincial economy and place it on a growth trajectory.

“A key aspect of our work is to introduce technological innovation in the way that public services are being rendered to citizens. We characterise our province as the Gauteng City Region to reflect the high level of interconnectedness and interdependence across metropolitan and municipal boundaries,” said Ismail Vadi, the Gauteng Transport MEC.

He was addressing the opening of the i-Transport & African Union of Public Transport (UATP): Go Green – Go Smart Conference, which was hosted in Gauteng from Monday. The gathering provided a chance for countries to bring innovative ideas to the table to help solve multiple transport challenges. 

Vadi said it served as a platform for deliberations on “finding intermodal and integrated transport solutions and promoting sustainable and environmentally sensitive transport options”. 

Transport is a major need for people in their daily lives. People commute to and from work. They to get to educational, health and other essential service institutions. They also require transport for leisure, including tourism and shopping.

For this reason, Vadi said it was crucial to make transport more efficient. 

“We are making a concerted effort to make transport work better for all and we see this as an absolute priority for the provincial government. This includes providing much improved public transport and supporting systems, whilst reducing the transport sector’s carbon footprint.”

Transport and the environment

To reduce transport’s carbon footprint, there are a number of key initiatives that have been launched in Gauteng.

The provincial government continues invest in roads and transport infrastructure and it has conducted feasibility studies to significantly expand the reach of the Gautrain.

The province has built an integrated bus rapid transit systems in the metropolitan municipalities (Rea Vaya in Johannesburg and A Re Yeng in Tshwane).

It has launched the Go Gauteng Transport App to promote door-to-door trip planning and has made good progress towards “One Province One Ticket” to achieve payment interoperability between the integrated rapid public transport network (IRPTRN) and Gautrain.

The province has also had consultations with institutional stakeholders towards the establishment of the Gauteng Transport Authority and it has introduced innovations at licensing centres to render them more efficient. 

Vadi said the conference is an opportune knowledge-sharing exercise because “we share many of our transport challenges with colleagues across the globe”.

The conference will help to shape the future of public transport because of its focus on land use, urbanisation and economic planning.

The conference will conclude on Wednesday. –