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A R131 million Rea Vaya depot unveiled Print E-mail
23 November 2012


The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system took another significant step forward this week when Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau officially opened a R131 million bus depot in Meadowlands, Soweto.
BRT, popularly as Rea Vaya, started its operations in 2009 – running its first phase of services between Soweto and Ellis Park. 
The second phase – between Noordgesig and Parktown – comes into operation in July 2013. There are plans in place to expand the network further to connect communities in Alexandra and Sandton. 
In his speech marking the opening of the depot, Mayor Tau said the new development underscored an important landmark in the transformation of the public transport system in Johannesburg.
 “We have every reason to celebrate this facility [that stands] in the middle of Soweto, a facility that compares favourably with the best in the world. It is also appropriate that we should celebrate the pioneers within the public transport sector, who were at the forefront of campaigning for an improved public transport system for Johannesburg,” said Tau.
The custom-built state-of-the-art depot stands on an eight-hectare piece of and, about 600 metres from Tshepo Themba Private Hospital. It has a capacity to cater for 270 buses at a time. At present the facility, which remains the property of the City of Johannesburg, houses the current fleet of 143 buses, which all belong to the operating company, Piotrans.
Piotrans, whose 300 shareholders are local taxi operators, has a 12-year contract with the City of Johannesburg to run the bus service. 
Mayor Tau said the contribution made by the taxi leadership that spearheaded the BRT project was pivotal in transforming public transport in the city. The improvement of public transport meant the improvement of the quality of life for the residents of Johannesburg, he said. 
Residents living in close proximity of the site will not be affected by the development. A noise barrier wall has been installed to minimise noise levels of bus movements. The buses themselves use a cleaner diesel, Euro 4 that does not pollute the environment. 
The City also has invested in the upgrading of Forbes Road nearby.  Traffic calming measures will be provided to enforce acceptable levels of speed.
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Last Updated on 23 November 2012