Temporary withdrawal of Rea Vaya

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretoria - The City of Joburg has decided to close the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system's inner-city routes for the time-being, due to a number of challenges.

An investigation was conducted by the BRT Project Office which indicated that poor patronage to the BRT system included not enough ticket vendors or not enough vendor signs, traffic congestion that made it quicker to walk rather than ride a bus for a few blocks, vehicles parked at bus stops, and bus stops needing bolder signs.

The two routes, which started on 21 September, will run on Wednesday for the last time, but are expected to return early next year.

Council spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane said the trunk route service between Thokoza Park in Soweto (via the Johannesburg CBD) to Ellis Park, making use of 23 stations en route, was carrying more than 16 000 commuters daily but the inner city circular routes carried only 200 passengers per day.

"The Soweto/Ellis Park trunk services will continue to operate normally and are not affected by the withdrawal of the Inner City circle distribution routes," said Modingoane.

Passengers are assured that once all the issues have been addressed to the City's satisfaction, the service will be reinstated.

Councillor Rehana Moosajee, a Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Transport in the City, has instructed a team to immediately begin with a redesign of the CBD service that would much better serve public demand and would also link the trunk services to high density business areas such as Braamfontein.

"We are also engaging the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department to implement a plan to address the clearing of bus stops and the policing of the exclusive BRT lanes, as well as the improvement of general traffic control at difficult intersections.

"We then plan to reintroduce this service when we roll out the full phase 1A service in the first quarter of next year. This service will be run by a taxi owned bus operating company, the next important milestone in the roll out of the Rea Vaya BRT," Moosajee said.

The City has apologised for any inconvenience caused to those passengers that supported the service.