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An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

Old Jun 7th 2007, 9:30 am
  #1  
Cph
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

This is what I know so far about public transport in Gauteng, South
Africa. Remember, this is coming from someone who's never been in
South Africa, just read a lot about it. Let me know if any of this is
on or off the mark...

Metrorail
An electric commuter rail system serving the suburbs around
Johannesburg and Pretoria. Not too well kept up, in general. Big
problems with overcrowding, crime and vandalism (people stealing the
copper catenary wires, etc.).

Metrobus
City bus system formed in 2000 out of the bus systems in Johannesburg
and Roodesport. Wonderful looking new Volvo double deckers, but still
a lot of older buses on the road. Core services radiate from Joburg
CBD, not all that different from several decades ago. Limited service
into Rosebank, Sandton and Soweto (but most of that latter market
locked up by Putco and other operators). Other suburbs (Alexandria,
Ivory Park, etc.) have little to no service. Good maps are now almost
impossible to get. Schedule information on website (mbus.co.za)
unclear.

Pretoria (oops, Tshwane) Municipal Transport
I think all they did was paint over "Pretoria" with "Tshwane" on the
buses. Routes haven't changed in years!

Other municipal bus lines
Small bus systems operate in the neighbouring cities of Germiston,
Brakpan, Springs and Vereeniging. At one time Germiston ran a bus to
downtown Johannesburg. (I think it still does).
Again, it's very difficult to find out anything substantial about any
of these services on the Internet....

Putco
Private bus company, main focus is commuter service from Soweto and
other black suburbs/townships. Much less service than in years past,
as many people shunned it in favour of taxis. 90% of service is
peak-hour. Marvellous new website and pictures of good looking buses,
but reportedly, most buses still older, badly maintained, dirty.
Schedule information impossible to get.

There are other private bus companies that run similar services, such
as the North Star company running between Pretoria and various suburbs
in Tshwane.

Taxis
Probably THE most used form of public transport anywhere in South
Africa. Not to be confused with metered cabs, these are typically
15-passenger vans (more or less) that run on fixed routes. They go a
lot of places where other public transport doesn't. Often overcrowded,
badly maintained, driven in an unsafe manner (speeding, stopping in
traffic, etc.) Competition between taxi companies has often become
violent. A recapitalisation program, replacing some of the most
unroadworthy vehicles, and perhaps even a subsidy program is under
consideration.

Gautrain
New high speed system connecting Joburg and Pretoria, and Sandton and
the international Airport. This is a Big Project. There are questions
about
cost-effectiveness and equity.

Rea Vaya
A proposed bus rapid transit system in Joburg, with exclusive bus
lanes. Existing operators (Metrobus, Putco, Taxis) encouraged to bid
on routes.
 
Old Jun 7th 2007, 6:57 pm
  #2  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

Seems pretty much on the button to me. WHy are you studying the public
transport system here?

Marc

On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 21:30:04 -0000, cph <[email protected]> wrote:

>This is what I know so far about public transport in Gauteng, South
>Africa. Remember, this is coming from someone who's never been in
>South Africa, just read a lot about it. Let me know if any of this is
>on or off the mark...
>
>Metrorail
>An electric commuter rail system serving the suburbs around
>Johannesburg and Pretoria. Not too well kept up, in general. Big
>problems with overcrowding, crime and vandalism (people stealing the
>copper catenary wires, etc.).
>
>Metrobus
>City bus system formed in 2000 out of the bus systems in Johannesburg
>and Roodesport. Wonderful looking new Volvo double deckers, but still
>a lot of older buses on the road. Core services radiate from Joburg
>CBD, not all that different from several decades ago. Limited service
>into Rosebank, Sandton and Soweto (but most of that latter market
>locked up by Putco and other operators). Other suburbs (Alexandria,
>Ivory Park, etc.) have little to no service. Good maps are now almost
>impossible to get. Schedule information on website (mbus.co.za)
>unclear.
>
>Pretoria (oops, Tshwane) Municipal Transport
>I think all they did was paint over "Pretoria" with "Tshwane" on the
>buses. Routes haven't changed in years!
>
>Other municipal bus lines
>Small bus systems operate in the neighbouring cities of Germiston,
>Brakpan, Springs and Vereeniging. At one time Germiston ran a bus to
>downtown Johannesburg. (I think it still does).
>Again, it's very difficult to find out anything substantial about any
>of these services on the Internet....
>
>Putco
>Private bus company, main focus is commuter service from Soweto and
>other black suburbs/townships. Much less service than in years past,
>as many people shunned it in favour of taxis. 90% of service is
>peak-hour. Marvellous new website and pictures of good looking buses,
>but reportedly, most buses still older, badly maintained, dirty.
>Schedule information impossible to get.
>
>There are other private bus companies that run similar services, such
>as the North Star company running between Pretoria and various suburbs
>in Tshwane.
>
>Taxis
>Probably THE most used form of public transport anywhere in South
>Africa. Not to be confused with metered cabs, these are typically
>15-passenger vans (more or less) that run on fixed routes. They go a
>lot of places where other public transport doesn't. Often overcrowded,
>badly maintained, driven in an unsafe manner (speeding, stopping in
>traffic, etc.) Competition between taxi companies has often become
>violent. A recapitalisation program, replacing some of the most
>unroadworthy vehicles, and perhaps even a subsidy program is under
>consideration.
>
>Gautrain
>New high speed system connecting Joburg and Pretoria, and Sandton and
>the international Airport. This is a Big Project. There are questions
>about
>cost-effectiveness and equity.
>
>Rea Vaya
>A proposed bus rapid transit system in Joburg, with exclusive bus
>lanes. Existing operators (Metrobus, Putco, Taxis) encouraged to bid
>on routes.
 
Old Jun 7th 2007, 8:51 pm
  #3  
Moira de Swardt
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

On Jun 7, 11:30 pm, cph <[email protected]> wrote:
> This is what I know so far about public transport in Gauteng, South
> Africa. Remember, this is coming from someone who's never been in
> South Africa, just read a lot about it. Let me know if any of this is
> on or off the mark...
>
> Metrorail
> An electric commuter rail system serving the suburbs around
> Johannesburg and Pretoria. Not too well kept up, in general. Big
> problems with overcrowding, crime and vandalism (people stealing the
> copper catenary wires, etc.).
>
> Metrobus
> City bus system formed in 2000 out of the bus systems in Johannesburg
> and Roodesport. Wonderful looking new Volvo double deckers, but still
> a lot of older buses on the road. Core services radiate from Joburg
> CBD, not all that different from several decades ago. Limited service
> into Rosebank, Sandton and Soweto (but most of that latter market
> locked up by Putco and other operators). Other suburbs (Alexandria,
> Ivory Park, etc.) have little to no service. Good maps are now almost
> impossible to get. Schedule information on website (mbus.co.za)
> unclear.
>
> Pretoria (oops, Tshwane) Municipal Transport
> I think all they did was paint over "Pretoria" with "Tshwane" on the
> buses. Routes haven't changed in years!
>
> Other municipal bus lines
> Small bus systems operate in the neighbouring cities of Germiston,
> Brakpan, Springs and Vereeniging. At one time Germiston ran a bus to
> downtown Johannesburg. (I think it still does).
> Again, it's very difficult to find out anything substantial about any
> of these services on the Internet....
>
> Putco
> Private bus company, main focus is commuter service from Soweto and
> other black suburbs/townships. Much less service than in years past,
> as many people shunned it in favour of taxis. 90% of service is
> peak-hour. Marvellous new website and pictures of good looking buses,
> but reportedly, most buses still older, badly maintained, dirty.
> Schedule information impossible to get.
>
> There are other private bus companies that run similar services, such
> as the North Star company running between Pretoria and various suburbs
> in Tshwane.
>
> Taxis
> Probably THE most used form of public transport anywhere in South
> Africa. Not to be confused with metered cabs, these are typically
> 15-passenger vans (more or less) that run on fixed routes. They go a
> lot of places where other public transport doesn't. Often overcrowded,
> badly maintained, driven in an unsafe manner (speeding, stopping in
> traffic, etc.) Competition between taxi companies has often become
> violent. A recapitalisation program, replacing some of the most
> unroadworthy vehicles, and perhaps even a subsidy program is under
> consideration.
>
> Gautrain
> New high speed system connecting Joburg and Pretoria, and Sandton and
> the international Airport. This is a Big Project. There are questions
> about
> cost-effectiveness and equity.
>
> Rea Vaya
> A proposed bus rapid transit system in Joburg, with exclusive bus
> lanes. Existing operators (Metrobus, Putco, Taxis) encouraged to bid
> on routes.

The mini-bus taxis work extremely effectively for a whole variety of
things. Recently I needed to transport 40 women to a function and
back. We used mini-bus taxis. The taxi drivers arrived at the
appointed place at the appointed hour. They provided us with their
cell phone numbers for the return trip arrangements. Again they
arrived at the appointed place at the appointed hour. The service was
efficient, cheap and friendly.

In the days when I used public transport myself I found that the buses
were expensive, few and far between and always on strike. The only
reason I used them was because they ran right past my home at a
ridiculous time of the morning which suited me. The taxis were more
efficient even then, and when the buses were on strike they were a
viable alternative, albeit a much longer walk for me.
 
Old Jun 7th 2007, 11:44 pm
  #4  
-Ferdi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

On Thu, 07 Jun 2007 21:30:04 -0000, cph <[email protected]> wrote:

<<>This is what I know so far about public transport in Gauteng, South
>Africa. Remember, this is coming from someone who's never been in
>South Africa, just read a lot about it. Let me know if any of this is
>on or off the mark...
>
>Metrorail
>An electric commuter rail system serving the suburbs around
>Johannesburg and Pretoria. Not too well kept up, in general. Big
>problems with overcrowding, crime and vandalism (people stealing the
>copper catenary wires, etc.).>>

The trains are filthy and dangerous - as are the stations. And the
rail does NOT run into suburbs in any meaningfull way.
You'll get mugged around the station, in the station and in the train
- in general.

Last year when a strike was on, a number of people on the way to work
was killed by allegedly striking workers throwing them off the
speeding train.

Sometimes the commuters get pissed off and set a train - or even a
station - on fire.


<<
>Metrobus
>City bus system formed in 2000 out of the bus systems in Johannesburg
>and Roodesport. Wonderful looking new Volvo double deckers, but still
>a lot of older buses on the road. Core services radiate from Joburg
>CBD, not all that different from several decades ago. Limited service
>into Rosebank, Sandton and Soweto (but most of that latter market
>locked up by Putco and other operators). Other suburbs (Alexandria,
>Ivory Park, etc.) have little to no service. Good maps are now almost
>impossible to get. Schedule information on website (mbus.co.za)
>unclear.>>

Funny thing about the Volvo's. It was bought apparently because the
ANC has strong links with Sweden that supported them during apartheid.
It is just that Sweden is a coldish country while Johannesburg is very
hot and dry in summer. The result is that many of these busses are
seen broken down on the roads in summer.
Anyway, Jhb's Metrobus is more or less organised as you say, but the
busses are not reliably on time. Sometimes they don't pitch and
sometimes they don't even stop.

The city's roads are congested and a bit narrow in places so the
busses move slow in peak time and many times block roads as they
double park when they are either too lazy to stop properly at the bus
stop or when other vehicles illegally park in the bus stops. They are
rarely if ever fined for doing that, these other vehicles.

Taveling by Metro bus can mostly be done around the city but it is
SLOW stavel, to a degree unreliable (don't take the bus to an exam!)
and only available in day light hours.

<<>Taxis
>Probably THE most used form of public transport anywhere in South
>Africa. Not to be confused with metered cabs, these are typically
>15-passenger vans (more or less) that run on fixed routes. They go a
>lot of places where other public transport doesn't. Often overcrowded,
>badly maintained, driven in an unsafe manner (speeding, stopping in
>traffic, etc.) Competition between taxi companies has often become
>violent. A recapitalisation program, replacing some of the most
>unroadworthy vehicles, and perhaps even a subsidy program is under
>consideration.>>

More or less correct.

<<>Gautrain
>New high speed system connecting Joburg and Pretoria, and Sandton and
>the international Airport. This is a Big Project. There are questions
>about
>cost-effectiveness and equity.>>

It will hopefully be the first leg of a decent subway system. It will
probably be cost effective as it will service a highway that is ALWAYS
blocked with traffic. But success will hinge on transport to and from
the Gautrain stations (see the problem here described in the above
segments.)


<<>Rea Vaya
>A proposed bus rapid transit system in Joburg, with exclusive bus
>lanes. Existing operators (Metrobus, Putco, Taxis) encouraged to bid
>on routes.>>

Work is starting here and there on roads. To make it work, will take a
massive rebuilding of roads all over the city.
 
Old Jun 8th 2007, 7:27 am
  #5  
Cph
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

On Jun 7, 11:57 pm, Marc Lurie <[email protected]>
wrote:
> Seems pretty much on the button to me. WHy are you studying the public
> transport system here?
>

Curiosity and interest in public transit systems worldwide.
 
Old Jun 10th 2007, 7:25 pm
  #6  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: An Outsider's Overview of Public Transport in Gauteng

OK then.I guess it takes all types to make a world :-)

Have you looked at the public transport system in Kampala, Uganda?
They use little 50cc motorcycles called "Boda Bodas" (from the noise
that they make I think). You sometimes see three or more people on one
tiny little motorbike.

On Fri, 08 Jun 2007 19:27:42 -0000, cph <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>Curiosity and interest in public transit systems worldwide.
 

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