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MMC Makhuba swaps car for Metrobus Print E-mail
12 October 2017

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Nonhlanhla Helen Makhuba, this morning (Thursday, 12 October 2017), traded her car for a bus to get first-hand experience of the city’s public transport system as part of the Transport Month activities.

The journey started as early as 6:45am at Gandhi Square, where MMC Makhuba interacted with commuters in in queues for buses.

According to the MMC Makhuba, the visit was an opportunity for her to assess public transport in Johannesburg during rush hour as well as to interact with Metrobus employees working at the Milpark Depot.

Accompanying the MMC were Metrobus’s Board Chairperson, Yolisa Kani, Lisa Seftel, the Executive Director for Transport in the City, Tshepo Makola, Acting Managing Director of Joburg Metrobus, and the Metrobus’s Executive Management Team.

Commuters shared their frustrations about shortage of the buses and bus drivers, unreliable services and ailing infrastructure with the MMC Makhuba. Some complained that due to the unreliability of public transport, they have challenges of getting to work late.

According to the Gauteng City Region Observatory’s latest research, 42% of commuters travel to work by taxis, while another 42% use private cars. About 6% of people walk to work, 10% use busses and trains, whereas 72% of households live within a 10 minutes’ walk of public transport.

To respond to some challenges raised by commuters, the City of Johannesburg announced that it is in the process to upgrade the Ghandi Square to be an interchange that will be used by Rea Vaya Phase 1C and Metrobus.

“The new upgrades will feature the Metrobus and Rea Vaya bus stops, Customer Care Centre and tickets sales outlets for both Rea Vaya and Metrobus. The upgrades will commence in March 2018 and expected to be complete in time for new Rea Vaya Phase 1C operating towards Alexandra and Sandton through Louis Botha Avenue scheduled for October 2018,” said Seftel.

MMC Makhuba arrived at Milpark Depot just after 08:20am to excited workshop employees who were servicing the buses, filling the buses with gas at the Gas Station while others were cleaning the buses at the bus wash bays.

She said the improvements in the City’s public transport systems, particularly Metrobus service, remained crucial to Johannesburg’s economic growth.

“The Joburg Metrobus and the City of Johannesburg are working around the clock to address the issues of overcrowding of buses and buses being delayed so that the service can meet the commuter expectations and contribute positively to the City’s economic growth imperative,” said MMC Makhuba.

To this end, Metrobus has recently employed an additional 83 bus drivers and 26 artisans as part of its turnaround plan. It is envisaged that these new employees will help to curb driver and technician shortages at Metrobus.

Almost 80% of Metrobus and Rea Vaya commuters use coupons. As a result, they enjoy a 25% discount, which has a positive impact on commuters’ pockets.

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Last Updated on 12 October 2017