Ground breaking for South Africa’s BRT
||23 July 2012 - Pretoria residents can look forward to enjoying safe and affordable public transport soon, with construction at the city's first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station kicking off.
Tshwane community Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa officially launched construction at the first BRT station in Hatfield, Pretoria on 4 July. The station will be based in the middle of Arcadia Street with dedicated bus lanes on either side of the station.
Once the stations have been built and buses procured, major benefits would be enjoyed by local residents, the Mayor said. These included rapid, reliable, safe, efficient buses with a low carbon footprint. The BRT system would also incorporate the taxi industry, which "would be fashioned into a different form".
Disadvantaged areas would also reap the benefits of the Pretoria BRT system. "We have deliberately chosen the poor areas to be serviced by the BRT because they deserve better," Ramokgopa said.
The BRT system was far more than just a transport project and should be viewed as one of the many projects that were contributing to the building of a national democratic society, he added. The project is also expected to create about 11 000 jobs.
According to city officials, BRT passengers can expect reduced travel times between home, work, retail and social destinations, with improvements in traffic congestion and road safety. The number of traffic accidents is likely to reduce, and those that do occur will have less of an impact on traffic flow.
The first phase, of the BRT will be operational in April 2014 with services running every 3-5 mins.
In total, 51 stations will be built, from Kopanong in Soshanguve to Mamelodi - some 80km of road. The city will decide on a name for the BRT system through a competition which will open this month on the SA news website.
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