Transport plans for soccer fans

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Johannesburg - Park and ride, park and walk, public transport and taxis will all be used to get soccer fans to the game on time during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The City's Transport Department is ironing out various transport plans to get spectators to and from stadiums, public viewing sites and fan fests, reports

"Part of the physical infrastructure is Joburg's flagship initiative, the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system," said Yolisa Mashilwane, the director of management support for transport in the City.

Rehana Moosajee, the member of the mayoral committee for transport, explains that Rea Vaya is expected to carry an estimated 20 000 spectators to Soccer City and Ellis Park, the two host stadiums.

Rea Vaya includes over 25 kilometres of dedicated lanes and more than 26 stations. Moosajee adds that phase 1A has been strategically implemented to meet the timeframes of the World Cup.

The full phase 1A runs from the south and west - Protea Glen, Mofolo Park, Naledi, Eldorado Park and Dobsonville - and from Ellis Park in the east. There is also an inner city circular route.

Mashilwane said there will be a special service during the tournament, which will mean a reduction in ordinary commuter services, especially on match days. The service will focus on spectators travelling to and from the stadiums.

There will be three park and ride spots, where spectators can park their cars and take a shuttle service to and from the games. Their cars will be guarded and parking will carry a fee. Accredited buses and taxis will provide the shuttle service.

Park and rides will be set up a the University of the Witwatersrand West Campus, on Enoch Sontonga Avenue in Braamfontein, Bezuidenhout Valley Park, on Marcia Street in Observatory and Gold Reef City, on Data Crescent in Ormonde.

Park and walks have also been arranged for spectators to park their vehicles and walk on a designated route to the stadiums. One venue has been allocated for each stadium; spectators will have to pay to use them.

For Ellis Park, the park and walk is at Athlone Boys School on Third Street in Bezuidenhout Valley. The walk is 2.21 kilometres.

For Soccer City, the park and walk is at Aeroton Park, off Randshow Road in Aeroton. The walk is 2.42 kilometres.

Mashilwane said transport options during the tournament will include Metrobus, mini-bus taxis and metered taxis which will extend their operating hours and may adjust their routes to ensure that fan parks and fan villages are serviced.

In addition, inter city and inter provincial services will be provided from the beginning of June until a few days after the final in July. There will be extra buses operating on match days and others connecting Gauteng with Polokwane, Mbombela, Rustenburg and Bloemfontein.

Buses will also be used to connect OR International and Lanseria airports to Sandton and the Joburg inner city.

Metrorail and Shosholoza Meyl will also run additional services from all parts of the country, and it is likely that Gautrain will be operational from OR International Airport to Sandton Station. There will be Gautrain feeder and distribution buses servicing Rivonia, Rosebank, Sandton and the inner city.

With FIFA's headquarters in Sandton, the International Broadcasting Centre at Nasrec next to Soccer City in the south, and a Football for Hope Tournament scheduled for No 3 Square in Alexandra, Joburg will be a hub of activities.

The City has also allocated certain areas for public viewing. These include Township TV sites, public viewing areas and Fan Festivals.

These areas include Innes Free Park - Fan Festival in Sandton, Elkah Stadium - Fan Festival in Soweto, Mary Fitzgerald Square - Public viewing area in Newtown, Ivory Park - Township TV.

Other areas that will have Township TV include Diepsloot Park, Orange Farm Regional Park, Kremetart Eldorado Park, Diepkloof Extreme Park, Orlando West, Thokoza Park, Joubert Park and Rose Avenue Park in Lenasia.