I love Johannesburg, but I am very grateful that I don’t have to take buses to get to and from work. Well, I suppose I could get to work because I start at a fairly conventional time, but getting home would be dicey. I work half day. The buses don’t seem to work except at peak time.
Today there was a media announcement about plans for the future of the bus services in Johannesburg. Despite the fact that Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa, Metrobus only transports up to 90 000 passengers daily – that is, of course, when they are not striking, which seems to happen a lot.
One of my many gripes about the bus services is that the Rea Vaya BRT and the Metrobuses don’t seem to operate as one system. The Metro buses aren’t even allowed to travel in the Rea Vaya bus lanes, so the poor motor vehicle drivers have to share lanes with other buses. I hope that the City’s Integrated Transport Plan is going to fix that together with reviewing the routes that Metrobus services, and making them more reliable.
According to the press release: “The City is excited about this development as the new services will have improved frequencies, will be reliable and operate during off peak period” said MMC Walters, MMC for Transport. “We would like to encourage the public to engage with the routes it has proposed and give feedback to the City in order to ensure that the service will respond to their needs,” she concluded.
Well, I’m all for that. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a public transport system that actually worked? I fear, however, that, like the present system and the Gautrain, nothing will work at night, making the City a dead zone at night, trapping people who do not have private transport (cars or motor cycles) in their homes with their television sets.
The city wants feedback. A copy of the draft Metrobus Operational Plan can be downloaded from www.reavaya.org.za, www.mbus.co.za and copies are also available at Regional Offices. Comments should be made within 60 days until 14 July 2014 and can be submitted in to the Executive Director: Transport, P O Box 31923, Braamfontein, 2000 or to email address MichelayV@joburg.org.za