Taxis can do their bit in bus transit system
Cities also need to be more strategic in terms of where they roll out BRT routes
SA’s bus rapid-transit (BRT) programme aims to meet citizens’ continuing transport challenges and to transcend the sprawling spatial planning inherited from apartheid. But to make the system work, the programme should be part of a hybrid solution tailored to SA’s unique conditions. Poor South Africans often spend more than 10% of their income on public transport. To alleviate that, the Department of Transport decided in the ’90s to provide a broader, more practical and affordable transport network. SA’s urban transport tends to be "tidal" — commuters move in one direction in the morning and in the opposite direction in the afternoon. This does not lend itself to a viable public transport system, which requires movement in several directions throughout the day. In SA, even the busiest BRT routes will have a full bus in one direction and an empty bus in the opposite direction — effectively only 50% usage. The state and city subsidies required to run such a system are prohibitive. Cape...