Johannesburg's BRT System Makes Good with Minibus Drivers

Minibus drivers in Johannesburg, South Africa, were not happy about plans to build a city-wide bus rapid transit system, worrying it would take their business away. After sometimes violent debates, the drivers have compromised with the city.
May 31, 2011, 11am PDT | Nate Berg
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The minibus drivers are now able to take a stake in the new bus system.

"Early in the last decade, Johannesburg transportation officials made a strategic decision to build a public transit system that wouldn't be government owned and operated.

"Our approach was to offer the taxi industry the honest opportunity to participate," says transport economist Bongani Kupe, who worked to negotiate the agreement between the city and the taxi industry. "In the end they did not move into this because of fear or insecurity," Kupe says. " Their interest in the BRT is simply this: will I be able to make a profit?"

A heavy dose of courage, far-sightedness and a real desire for positive change lay behind this strategy. The taxi associations wield considerable clout. The industry's genesis was the urbanizing 1980s, when ‘influx control' regulations were repealed in South Africa and Africans were permitted to live in the cities."

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Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 in Citiscope
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