First Harambee buses will take to the street on Wednesday
October 17, 2017 Comments Off on First Harambee buses will take to the street on Wednesday
Publication: Kempton Express
Author: Tumi Riba
Applauding the success of the launch is the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi. To his right are MMC for Transport Planning Provision Clr Petrus Mabunda, CEO of KTVR Mandla Mtshali and head of Ekurhuleni’s Transport and Planning Lusanda Madikizela
EKURHULENI’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, Harambee, is finally on the move after being officially launched on October 13 at Emperors Palace.
Launching the service were MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi and MMC for Transport Planning Provision Clr Petrus Mabunda.
Thus far, the project has cost the City of Ekurhuleni R1.6-billion.
Eight buses will be operational. They will each ferry 36 seated passengers and 54 standing passengers at R13 per single trip.
This, however, will be a limited service, as only Phase 1A of the project is being completed.
Speaking at the media conference on Friday, Mabunda said the project was long overdue. He said this was a result of negotiations with the taxi industry, as they would be affected.
Ismail Vadi speaks at the launch. On his left is MMC for Transport Planning and Provision, Clr Petrus Mabunda, and to his right is Pisto Mashego of the affected taxi associations in Ekurhuleni
Mabunda said construction of the system’s infrastructure had also caused the delay.
“The engagement with the taxi industry started in 2011. After the memorandum of understanding, the memorandum of agreement was then reached.
“The Kempton Park, Tembisa, Vosloorus, Reiger Park (KTVR) service company was formed, with the view to undertake the interim service pending the finalisation of negotiations leading up to the establishment of this vehicle-operating company for the City of Ekurhule
He said, for now, the bus service will run for an estimated 38km between Tembisa and Isando.
On October 18, the service will commence at Station 7 on the corner of Andrew Mapheto Drive and George Nyanga Road (opposite Rabasotho Hall in Tembisa) and proceed along Andrew Mapheto Drive, Zuurfontein Road and Isando Road to the corner of Isando Road and Brewery Street.
It will turn left into Brewery Street and travel through Isando, using Anvil Street, Industrie Street, Quality Road and Diesel Street before turning from Diesel Street back onto Isando Road and returning to Tembisa.
“These buses will also cater for people living with disabilities as each bus will accommodate wheelchair-bound passengers,” Mabunda added.
Tickets will be sold at Ekurhuleni mobile kiosks.
The first kiosk will be situated at Tembisa Police Station on Andrew Maphetu Drive. The others will be on Isando Street and Kram Street in Isando.
Mabunda said the kiosks would be open from 4.30am to 7pm on weekdays and from 5.30am to 3pm on Saturdays.
Vadi said the Harambee BRT launch came at an opportune time, as October is Transport Month.
“This is a major achievement for the City of Ekurhuleni, and this now has set the stage for us to fast-track the roll-out of this programme. For us at the provincial level, this means that another piece of the public transport is falling into place, because what we need in Gauteng is an integrated public transport system.”
He said this would create job opportunities.
“I think there are lot of opportunities here in the case of the taxi industry. The former taxi drivers were trained as bus drivers.
“Also, you cannot run a bus service without a depot. There are maintenance and repair sections and a fuel section. So all of those things are new opportunities that will be coming with the system,” Vadi said.
There will be two types of tickets that will be used for the starter service: the MiFare ticket and the Quick Response (QR) code paper tickets. These will be used until such time as the smart-card system is ready. The smart-card system is envisaged to be functional in February 2018.
Harambee buses will not operate on Sundays and public holidays