Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has instructed the council’s transport department to find a way for the taxi industry to use bus-dedicated lanes in order to create more efficient and safe public transport.
Speaking at a signing ceremony between the city‚ the taxi industry and bus operators for the third phase of the Bus Rapid Transit system‚ Mashaba said the mini-bus taxi industry played a crucial role in public transport.
He said the city wants the industry to succeed.
“I want you as the taxi industry to make money. But‚ please‚ your success is going to depend on the rule of law‚” he said.
Mashaba then revealed that he had tasked city transport boss Lisa Seftel with investigating how taxis can use bus lanes.
The City of Johannesburg signed two agreements with the taxi industry and bus companies for the implementation of the third phase of the Bus Rapid Transit system Rea Vaya.
The BRT system is expected to be ready by October 2018. It covers Sandton‚ Alexandra‚ the city centre‚ Midrand and Ivory Park and will cost the city R2.2-billion.
The first document that was signed was the Negotiation Framework Agreement‚ which opens the way for starting negotiations on the BRT with all the affected transport operators.
In the framework will be the structure‚ agenda and rules of the negotiation process. The other document signed was the memorandum of understanding between the parties‚ which entails the principles of how the public transport transformation process will be shaped.
The signatories to the two documents include the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) as well as taxi organisations from the Greater Joburg Region‚ Alexandra‚ Randburg‚ Midrand‚ Sandton‚ Ivory Park and Rabie Ridge.
Bus companies JR Choeu and Putco also signed the agreements.
The ceremony was held at the Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia‚ Johannesburg.