Trying to Tackle Mobility Issues in South Africa

New government efforts in South Africa are trying to improve mobility for those who rely on public transportation, walking and biking.

Progress is gradual, and the mobility issues facing the country are great.

"Sixty per cent of South Africans don't own private cars. They either walk or cycle to work – often an hour each way – or use public transport to travel the long distances created by sprawling, spatially segregated cities. The informal minibus-taxi industry takes the lion's share; the regulated rail and bus systems the rest. Public transport is, for the most part, unsafe, overcrowded, unreliable, expensive and run by operators who will at times (sometimes literally) kill their competition in order to keep their routes and licences.

The vast majority use it because they have no other choice. They can't afford the transport, public or private, that they'd prefer. Like Nyati, most commuters dream of owning their own vehicle. No matter how rusty, beaten up and unroadworthy a car might be, having your own offers the door-to-door flexibility that public transport does not. The magic number is R3,500 (about $452) – the monthly income at which low-income earners start putting out the word that they're looking for a used car."

Full Story: South Africa Renews Rail in Push to Reduce Congestion

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95