There’s more to a rapid transit system than buying buses and building roads – as Limpopo’s capital, and several other South African cities, are discovering.
Joburg has its Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System and Tshwane its A Re Yeng ‘Connecting the Capital’ version – and so far neither system is quite meeting expectations.
While Rea Vaya has been plagued by bus driver strikes, issues of punctuality and failure to adhere to routes, A Re Yeng is proving significantly more expensive than originally projected. Current opinion is that by the time it becomes fully operational the new bus system will have cost Tshwane double the amount originally projected. This will largely be due to an agreement with taxi operators made by the then ANC municipality (it is now DA-led) to compensate them for loss of earnings on routes designated for A Re Yeng. So far the system has cost the taxpayer more than R2.6bn.