New transport plan for Joburg

Mobility for the people

Wtih the ever increasing petrol price, the new integrated transit system will be a welcome relief to Joburg commuters
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The City of Joburg will undergo a huge makeover following a major move by the City to implement an integrated and user-friendly transit system in all new residential and business developments, it announced at the recent Transport Stakeholder Forum in Johannesburg.

This means that future town planning will take into account the needs and convenience of public transport users.

“It cannot be said that there is inadequate or even an absence of any type of transport in Johannesburg. There is an abundance of all modes of transport here. What the City is lacking is an integrated structural transport system,” Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport, Rehana Moosajee, told the meeting.

The City said on its website that Johannesburg’s spatial design was a result of a deliberate strategy to separate its residents along racial lines: “During the apartheid era, blacks were forced to live far away from their workplaces and were provided with a single transport system between home and work. Whites, on the other side of town, were mostly thought (of) in terms of using their own private vehicles.”

“The spatial planning changed with the advent of democracy in 1994. Statistics show that average households spend more on transport and food than on any other item. It is therefore almost impossible to do or acquire anything else other than the two needs,” said Moosajee.

She added that the fact that transport was not integrated meant that users had to walk long distances to connect before reaching their destinations. The issue was not only about encouraging the use of public transport as opposed to private vehicles, but it was also about making it easier for “an elderly person or someone with their little girl to feel comfortable using public transport anywhere in greater Johannesburg”, said Moosajee.

“Johannesburg will be building an infrastructure that will respond to all road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. It would have to be a matter of choice."

She said the challenge was to build a people-centred infrastructure, with an accessible transport system. The plan is part of the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040), which states that “by 2040, Johannesburg will be a pedestrian- and public transport-oriented city”, the movement system of which “will combine walking, cycling, providing people with disabilities access to efficient public transport, and with vehicles powered by renewable energy resources”.

(Credit: www.joburg.org.za)

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