12 September 2013
A new Rea Vaya bus rapid transit route connecting Soweto to Johannesburg’s central business district (CBD) is set to become operational on 14 October, opening up a crucial new “corridor of freedom” in South Africa’s busiest city.
The new route will run from Soweto and pass through Noordegesig, New Canada, Pennyville, Bosmont, Coronationville, Newclare, Westbury, Westdene, Melville, Auckland Park and Parktown before connecting to the CBD.
Johannesburg is working to reverse apartheid spatial planning, and in so doing to reduce the structural unemployment and poverty that was created by denying people access to work opportunities, universities, hospitals and other amenities close to where they live.
For many Johannesburg residents, being able to live in close proximity to public transport facilities with easy access to the city amounts to a life-changing experience.
The fast, safe and cost-effective Rea Vaya bus rapid transit service has already been exceeding its daily target of transporting 80 000 passengers daily. The new route has the potential to carry a further 40 000 or more passengers daily.
The new service will use 134 new Rea Vaya buses, which have also been manufactured locally.
As Rea Vaya continues to be expand its reach, integration with other modes of transport will become more central.
The phase 1C plan includes the construction of three large-scale multi-modal interchanges at Sandton, Westgate and Pan Africa in Alexandra to enable passengers to transfer between the Gautrain, Metrorail, Metrobus and mini-bus taxis.
The construction of dedicated bus routes will also see a significant upgrading of roads and pathways for cyclists and pedestrians, especially in Alexandra, Wynberg, Marlboro and the Sandton CBD.