The first week of the new year saw two letters from Business Day readers complaining about public transport. They both referred to the situation in Johannesburg, but their comments might well have been applied more generally to public transport in all our major cities. As it happens, 2019 marks a decade since the passing of the National Land Transport Act. This required all large municipalities to develop integrated public transport plans, and to implement them by way of contracts with professional transport operators. The act was based upon a public transport strategy approved by the cabinet in March 2007. A new “bus rapid transit” (BRT) concept was to be introduced — high-quality dedicated bus lanes with mini stations rather than bus stops. Feeder services would use smaller buses. The minibus-taxi would be phased out, but taxi associations could form companies to bid for operating contracts. The strategy described some interim stages, including services for the 2010 Fifa World Cup...

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