Gauteng’s public transport system is set for a major boost this financial year, according to MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi.
Tabling the department’s budget vote on Tuesday at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Vadi said the City of Tshwane had allocated R2.2 billion over the next three years for the roll-out of its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
“In addition, it will replenish the Tshwane Bus Service fleet with the acquisition of 120 new buses and install an automated fare collection system,” said Vadi.
In Ekurhuleni, the city will spend R50 million to complete its Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network and the finalisation of its designs for the BRT system while the City of Johannesburg has allocated R992 million for the Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Rea Vaya system.
“The City of Joburg will also purchase over 130 new buses with significant local content,” said Vadi.
In order to better plan and co-ordinate the roll-out of these bus rapid transit systems, the department has, in close consultation with these municipalities, finalised a BRT strategy, which will be tabled before the provincial cabinet next month.
The strategy will set out common standards and specifications and identify interconnection points for the BRT systems along the boundaries of the three metropolitan municipalities.
In addition, Vadi said in the next few years the Public Rail Agency of South Africa will modernise the existing passenger railway system and champion the implementation of new passenger rail technology.
In Gauteng the PRASA is specifically focusing on the modernisation of Metrorail’s signalling and telecommunication systems; rolling stock and train operating systems for which the National Treasury has allocated R10 billion over the next three years.
A total of 2 484 new coaches and a further 600 coaches for new services will be included in the Gauteng Acquisition Programme over the next decade. The first new trains are expected by 2015.
He noted that planning and feasibility work had commenced on the re-introduction of rail services on the Hammanskraal line.
“We also want to improve integration with the Gautrain; a rail extension to serve the greater Daveyton area; and the Bara link rail extension, which includes capacity enhancements to transform Nasrec station as a major connectivity and feeder hub with rail, BRT and Park ‘n Ride possibilities,” the MEC said.