Johannesburg's BRT Controversy Underscores Class Issues

Treehugger takes a look at the new bus rapid transit system in Johannesburg, South Africa, and explores some of the controversy and tension that surrounds it.

"Last month, we applauded the five developing cities nominated by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for its 2010 Sustainable Transport Award. The list included Johannesburg, South Africa, which established its first transit links from the 'disadvantaged Soweto area to the central business district.' That accomplishment now seems all the more impressive in light of the opposition the new bus lines have apparently faced.

Bus rapid transit lines in Johannesburg promise to ease the lives of poor black workers who must commute from distant townships -- spending perhaps four hours a day and a fifth of their pay to do so."

But with the new system has come some vocal opposition from white populations around Johannesburg, who fear the public transit system will bring an undesirable population into their neighborhoods.

Full Story: Rich South Africans Oppose Green New BRT Lines; Say They 'Damage Property Values'


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