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Jozi’s new BRT trunk route to be universally accessible Print E-mail
14 July 2017

The stations being built for the much-anticipated third phase of the City of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and the 141 buses that will operate on the route will be accessible to all commuters, including people with disabilities.

Unlike in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, all the 13 stations being developed for the R2.2-billion Phase 1C Rea Vaya BRT trunk route – between the Johannesburg city centre, Alexandra and Sandton – are all low floor, making them universally accessible.

Phase 1A – between Thokoza Park in Rockville, Soweto, and Ellis Park – became operational in time for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup ahead of the Soccer World Cup the following year.

Phase 1B came on stream in 2013 to link Soweto to the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) via Noordgesig, Coronationville, Westdene and Parktown.

Both these trunk routes use standard buses, which are not adequately accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities.

According to Lisa Seftel, the City’s Executive Director for Transport, the shift to low-floor BRT stations is in accordance with the provisions of the National Land and Transport Act of 2009. She says although the City does not have the exact statistics of disabled commuters, access to all is important as it is also in line with the Act.

“Yes, the new Metro and Rea Vaya buses are universally accessible,” she says.

Work on Rea Vaya Phase 1C started in 2014. The low-floor BRT stations in the middle of the road will accommodate low-entry buses, making the system more accessible to people with disabilities, the elderly as well as commuters with luggage or prams.

Seftel says the new environmentally friendly Rea Vaya fleet will consist of 109 articulated and 32 rigid buses.

Phase 1C, which is expected to become operational in October 2018, is a step closer to the realisation of an integrated public transport system in Johannesburg. As part of the move to integrate public transport system, five interchanges will be introduced on the Phase 1C BRT route to enable commuters to connect conveniently from one mode of transport to another.

The integrated transport aims to reduce congestion of the City’s roads, while at the same time protecting the environment. The long-term plan is to integrate Metrobus, Rea Vaya, Putco, Gautrain buses, and Uber and minibus taxis. Walking and cycling are also in the mix.

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Last Updated on 14 July 2017