Joburg minibus taxis to get their own lane [April Fools]

 ·1 Apr 2016

The Gauteng Portfolio Committee for Transport (GPCT) is working on a plan to provide minibus-taxis in Johannesburg with their own dedicated lane.

It follows the findings contained in a Gauteng Transport Policy White Paper, published on Friday, 13 February 2016.

The document, titled: ‘Zola Budd’, noted that Gauteng’s roadways would benefit from a dedicated taxi lane as it is likely to alleviate congestion – especially during peak hours – eliminate road-rage, and ultimately lead to fewer road-related accidents.

The South African minibus taxi industry is believed to be serviced by as many as 300,000 vehicles, transporting over 15-million commuters daily.

As such, the transport minister recently noted that taxis are one of the biggest causes of road deaths in the country. Fatal road traffic accidents increased by 11% between 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016 – to 1,387, with minibuses accounting for 10.1% of all accidents.

The task team responsible for the White Paper said that it is vital to prioritize the bulk of the country’s daily commuters – ‘to get them to and from work safely, and more efficiently’.

The GPCT said it will set aside R3.5 billion over the next five years to set up the necessary infrastructure for the project –  the same total cost of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT).

GPCT said that it will conduct a trial in Joburg beginning 1 July 2016, running for a six month period. The trial will focus primarily on the M1 and other main feeder roads into the Johannesburg city centre.

Initially, existing road infrastructure would be divided in half where applicable, until such time as the necessary infrastructure is put into place.

Taxi lane trial2

Following conclusion of the trial, the committee will then make a decision on how best to roll-out the project on the largest city road network in the country – spanning 13,428km.

The committee said that it has budgeted for a five-year roll-out period.

“The newly demarcated taxi lanes will be visible to motorists by way of a sold red line,” the document said.

Taxi union boss, Mandla Khumalo, told BusinessTech: “We are delighted with this decision, we have been calling for our own dedicated lane for years. These lanes will help ensure that drivers can get people to work faster, and more safely, while drivers will also be able to make more money.

The whitepaper has been published on the GPCT’s website, and is open for public comment.

Previous April Fools stories

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