Getting around Joburg : overview
Getting from A to B or more importantly from your B&B to THE game, has been much in the news of late with some horrendous stories about traffic chaos getting to Confed Cup games. Massive changes are in process at the moment – but none of them were ready in time for the Confed Cup. So what are these changes and how do people get around Johannesburg?
Getting around the sprawling expanse of Greater Johannesburg without your own car has traditionally been a major challenge. Since the late 1970s there have been various forms of public transport:
• Two kinds of taxis
o minibus taxis
o and metered taxis
• A metro rail system connecting limited parts of Gauteng
o Metro buses
o PUTCO buses
o Private bus companies
At this stage all these transport systems (except for metered taxis) primarily serve local commuters rather than visitors and tourists.
There are two developments which are set to make a huge difference to Johannesburg’s public transport effectiveness as well as traffic congestion and should effectively serve visitors as well. These are:
o the Rapid Rail known as the Gautrain – the first phase from O.R. Tambo international airport to Sandton is due to be completed by June 2010 (See future blog posting)
o the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) also known as Rea Vaya (meaning ‘We are moving’ in Sotho). The first part of phase 1 from Soweto to Ellis Park has been delayed for opening until August 09 (See future blog posting)
o An integration of registered minibus taxis with the BRT system