Photo: Courtney Africa.

Johannesburg - Most commuters use taxis to get around because they are more flexible and save time compared to other modes of public transport.

This is according to data released by Statistics SA in its National Household Travel Survey which investigated travel patterns and problems in the country.

According to the survey, taxis are the main source of transport for most households at 41.6 percent as compared to private cars (13.7 percent), buses (10.2 percent), car passengers (13.7 percent) and trains (4.4 percent).

Statistician-general Pali Lehohla said the number of people who used taxis had increased from 59 percent in 2003 to 69 percent last year.


Though taxis are the main source of transport for most people, they are not happy with the service. At least 54 percent of all taxi commuters were unhappy with the state of taxi rank facilities and 51 percent were unhappy about taxi fares.

Lehohla said to reach the taxi rank or route, 22.3 percent of all households had to walk at least 15 minutes.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said the fact that the survey indicated that there was an increase from 10.9 percent to 14.4 percent of all commuters who walked more than 15 minutes to get transport, meant there should be an improvement of infrastructure, operations and land-use planning, to improve the transport system.

He said commuters complained about drivers being rude, taxis not being available at night and the bad condition of the roads. Other reasons commuters used taxis as opposed to other forms of transport, such as buses and trains, was that those other kinds were unavailable close to their homes or workplaces.

Most commuters are schoolchildren. About 60.9 percent of schoolchildren travel between 7am and 7.59am. Of these who used public transport, about 70 percent used taxis, 25 percent used buses and 6 percent used trains.

There are 6.6 million pupils across the country who walk to get to their first transport. Of those, 93.6 percent walk between a minute and 15 minutes to get to their first transport. In Gauteng, 5.4 percent of pupils walk more than 15 minutes to their first transport.

Peters said: “The percentage of learners who walk for more than 60 minutes to their educational institutions increased to 5.7 percent from 4.8 percent in 2003. This is a serious predicament and we should do our utmost to deliver on the National Scholar Transport Policy.”

Lehohla said there was a decrease in the number of workers who walked to work. Of the 39 percent who use public transport, 27 percent used taxis, 8 percent used buses and 5 percent used trains.

Peters said: “Are the long hours of travel productive and how does this impact on the growth of our economy?”


- In 2013 38.7 percent of people in Gauteng had a driver’s licence.

- About 1 million households own a bicycle that they use for travel purposes.

- There has been an increase from 22.9 percent in 2003 to 28.5 percent in 2013 of households that own cars.

- Workers mostly use public transport (39.1 percent), private transport (38.4 percent) and walk (21.1 percent) to get to their workplaces.

- Of those who use public transport 26.5 percent use taxis, 7.6 percent use buses and 5 percent use trains.

Pretoria News