26/10/2016: Department of Transport: Transport month October 2016 - Rea Vaya and JRA mayoral event
Today the MMC of Transport Cllr Nonhlanhla Makhuba hosted the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg Cllr. Herman Mashaba together with fellow MMCs and Councillors from the Section 79 Transport oversight committee in Soweto – showcasing both the Rea Vaya BRT and the upgrading of roads in Soweto to complete streets.
“The Rea Vaya BRT has become part of the lifeblood of Soweto”, said MMC Makhuba. Over 50 000 passengers use the Rea Vaya daily including commuters, learners and people going to the shops, or going to collect their pensions, etc.”, she said.
Since the initiation of Rea Vaya the City has sought to improve the service offered by the 277 buses travelling on 41km of dedicated trunk route. The latest innovation is the launch of the Vaya Moya App earlier this year which gives passengers information on where to find the bus, time of the next bus, bus routes and bus fares.
In November, the Rea Vaya banker will shift from ABSA to Standard Bank and it is hoped that shortages of smart cards will be a thing of the past. Passengers will be able to purchase the new blue card at designated stations around the City and later at various vendors.
The bank shift is as a result of Standard Bank being the new City’s banker - which means that the City can more effectively manage the bank processes. The trip on the Rea Vaya BRT during Transport Month will give the Executive Mayor his first opportunity as Mayor to ride on the system as well as visit the state of the art BRT bus depot in Meadowlands.
The Meadowlands Depot is an environment-friendly, custom-made Rea Vaya bus depot in Soweto for 270 buses. It comprises a bus parking area, an administration and maintenance building, underground fuel tanks, and a bus wash area where the vehicles can either be hand-washed or automatically washed.
Environmentally friendly features include lights that work on sensors, a robust, mild steel sheeting for the roof and cladding to help with climate control and a noise wall barrier erected around the premises. The roof structure also allows direct sunlight into the building to reduce the need for lighting, and water is recycled for reuse in the buildings and the wash bay.
“The construction of this depot in the heart of Soweto shows that the City has been changing the status of Soweto from a dormitory suburb to an integral part of the City,” said MMC Makhuba.
The City is now in the process of construction and engagement with affected operators for the roll out of the third phase of the Rea Vaya between the Inner City, Sandton, Alexandra, Midrand, Ivory Park and Midrand.
“We are doing things different for this phase”, said MMC Makhuba. We are seeking to integrate buses and mini bus taxis from the beginning while still providing mini bus taxi operators the opportunity to become the owners and managers of the new Rea Vaya buses that will be operated by an independent company,” she added.
The construction along Louis Botha and Katherine Road, the upgrading of the Sandton CBD for greater accessibility for all road users and the building of new bridges over the M1 are all part of this roll out and are on track.
“The Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba’s trip on the Rea Vaya BRT is a demonstration of his commitment to public transport, said the Mayor’s spokesperson Gabu Tugwana.
“Increased use of public transport is good for residents and good for the City since public transport use reduces infrastructure costs, saves fuel, eases urban congestion and reduce air pollution and carbon emissions,” he concluded.
Information on the Vaya Moja public transport app
To encourage, improve and support easier and seamless travel on public transport, an integrated public transport app, Vaya Moja has been developed which provides information on routes and fares of Rea Vaya BRT and Metrobus services.
How to get started with the Vaya Moja app
The app can be downloaded for free and is available for both Android phones (via Google Play) and iOS phones (via the App Store).
Please note that the Vaya Moja app requires iOS 9.0 or later, but is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. For those with Android devices, the app requires Android 4.1 or later.
Once you've downloaded Vaya Moja, you will have access to all bus routes, clearly labelled and findable, on your phone. Clicking on your desired route will show you which service - Rea Vaya or Metrobus - covers your route, along with details including:
Bus departure times;
Estimated travel time;
Number of stops; and
The option of viewing a map of the route.
Issued by the City of Johannesburg
For further information contact Benny Makgoba at 011 870 4602 or 071381 2819.
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