Mall makes way for taxis

GROUNDBREAKING DEVELOPMENT: The soon-to-be-opened Bay West Mall has been praised for its approach to taxi commuter services -
GROUNDBREAKING DEVELOPMENT: The soon-to-be-opened Bay West Mall has been praised for its approach to taxi commuter services –

WHAT a radical paradigm shift in infrastructure development and roll out for the Nelson Mandela Bay area taxi public transport services at Baywest Shopping Mall in Sherwood.

I was invited there on the strength of the article condemning the absence of taxi ranks at all Walmer shopping areas and surrounds, up to Mount Pleasant, in The Herald recently.

Ironically the taxi offices, a purpose-built taxi rank, a marshals’ office, a taxi driver specific rest room and a kiosk are all in the process of being built and are in the projected pipeline.

The taxi rank lanes are already halfway built.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Santaco region is in the process of negotiating such talks, so as to control and manage these state of the art facilities never before provided for by architects who design such gargantuan shopping facilities in the Nelson Mandela Bay.

Opening is tentatively set for May 21. My fingers are crossed for this game changer of a shopping mall that will attract shoppers and pleasure seekers in droves with its anticipated ice rink, food court and state of the art movie arena – not forgetting the purpose-built taxi rank on the premises.

This very bold, researched and highly enlightened taxi infrastructure roll out step – on the part of designers, financiers and management – speaks of an all-inclusive taxi facility, from the taxi all the way into the shopping mall, with the taxi rank and facilities flanked in between your north and east gates of the outer structure, as it currently geo-locates on the established GPS coordinates.

Owners of the other shopping centres in Walmer and Buffelsfontein Road might want to follow suit.

Remember workers must get to these employment opportunities and once employed they must be ferried there.

This taxi facility infrastructure at Bay West Mall will go down in the annals of transport in this city as the unifier that cemented peace amongst the 10 taxi industry associations and five vehicle operating companies in the city.

And as such, the negotiating arm, Laphumilanga, will see to it that the value chain associated with the taxi industry resides precisely in the taxi industry – with the ordinary men and women working on the ground.

-Denzyl Harper, Korsten, Port Elizabeth

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