Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taxi Drivers Upset About BRT Plans in Johannesburg

Taxi drivers in Johannesburg are staging protests over plans to set up a bus rapid transit system in the city -- a move that would cut into the taxi business. Nearly 500 taxis would be removed from the streets where BRT is set to come in. The first stage of the system is scheduled to come online in June.

The BRT system will consist of bus trunk routes around Johannesburg and taxi drivers were worried that they would ultimately be pushed off the routes.

The first phase of the approximately 50km trunk route is expected to be in place by June 1 2009. It would run from Regina Mundi church in Soweto, past the Orlando and FNB stadiums and end at Ellis Park stadium.

About 500 taxis were expected to be scrapped or taken out of routes, with plans to make taxi drivers bus drivers, the taxi industry's BRT steering committee told the media on Monday.

The taxi industry is currently thrashing out a R2,5-billion contract with the city to become part of the first phase.

Taxi drivers call for Jeff Radebe's head
Mail & Guardian
March 24, 2009