Survey to probe Jozi transport needs

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Copy of ST p10e2sec Taxi Rank 404 Independent Newspapers A MAJOR SUCCESS: The new taxi rank at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Roodepoort. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

The city of Joburg is set to conduct a household travel survey to determine its public transport needs.

During a media tour of transport facilities in the city, City of Joburg member of the mayoral committee for transport Rehana Moosajee said 7000 householders across the city would be interviewed to see what their travel needs were.

The aim of this was to set up an integrated transport plan, involving Metrobus, Rea Vaya, Metrorail and the taxi industry. The survey should be completed by March.

The Westgate Shopping Centre was an ideal example of integrated transport, Moosajee said. Just more than a month ago, the centre’s management and the Dorljota Taxi Association joined together in establishing a R6.2 million taxi rank for 120 vehicles in a section of the underground parking.

Dorljota spokesman Zeblon Simelane said the project had been successful so far.

“We have spotless ablutions, three kitchens where food is sold and cooked, as well as vehicle-washing facilities. It is working well. Passengers are happy to have taxis conveniently close to the shopping centre, and drivers and owners are satisfied,” he said.

Centre manager Rob van Dongen said negotiations had started in 2011 about the 6 900m2 parking area. “We have metro buses running as well as a railway station close by, so there are no transport problems for customers and staff at the centre,” he said.

TRANSPORT UNAFFORDABLE

Moosajee said the city had found that the internationally accepted standard is householders spending 10 percent on transport. In Joburg, she said, 42 percent of residents in poorer areas were food insecure and were therefore unable to afford transport to get to work opportunities.

“We have divided the city into different income areas, with most of the people in the poorer areas needing transport to the wealthier areas, where there are jobs.

“The city was designed under the apartheid government, which has made integrated transport very difficult. The city also has a mining belt running through it, causing further public transport problems,” she said.

Aspects of transport that would have to be addressed were old infrastructure, funding for new roads and maintenance of old ones, potholes, old stormwater drains, faulty traffic lights and vandalism of traffic signals, which “is a huge problem”, she said.

“Developers will also have to be forced to ensure that they provide adequate stormwater capacity in new developments, as this is causing problems to our roads.”

Another plan that the Johannesburg Roads Agency has is called the Streets Alive campaign, a new engineering approach to constructing streets and pavements to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, so that everyone can enjoy them.

The agency’s “open streets” project is another plan in the pipeline that would see certain streets in the suburbs being closed off on certain days over weekends. -The Star



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