With a focus on creating greenways – people- and environmentally friendly public transport routes criss-crossing the urban landscape – Johannesburg is building a liveable and sustainable city for commuters.
These corridors will allow for pedestrian, cycle and public transport lanes, including Joburg’s world-class Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), Rea Vaya. The concept is in keeping with the objectives of Joburg 2040, the City’s long-term growth and development strategy.
The JDA is integral to these developments. It supports the necessary infrastructure build and encourages private sector investment in selected nodes along these corridors. With developments moving to where the people are, residents will be able to live, work and play within the same space. It will also offer convenient public transport options.
Such developments address apartheid social engineering and spatial imbalances, whereby the majority of South Africans were forced to live on the outskirts of cities and towns, far from places of work and shops.
Although the country became a democracy in 1994, these segregated areas remain – the greenways programme has been planned to bring about fundamental change to these townships and suburbs. It will result in an effective and affordable public transport system and high-density neighbourhoods closer to places of economic opportunity. In addition, greenways will focus on establishing new mobility systems that will promote non-motorised transport and mass public transport, including rolling out BRT infrastructure.
Increasing investment is vital to growing transport infrastructure across the city.
KEY TO GROWTH
The JDA’s flagship BRT is the result of renewed interest in investing in public transport to reduce pollution and build liveable cities
The key to accelerated and sustainable growth, development and poverty alleviation is investment in physical infrastructure, socio-economic infrastructure and technological innovation.
This infrastructure plays a fundamental role in safeguarding urban citizens. The ability to develop new infrastructure and extend services to new growth areas is an important part of building resilience to increased infrastructure pressures resulting from rapid urbanisation.
In 1909, electric trams were operating along Louis Botha Avenue (and Grant Avenue in Norwood by 1911), which enabled developing the denser mixed-use buildings that characterise these areas.
The BRT will provide a modern public transport service to support urban development.
Rea Vaya ensures passengers have safe, fast, and affordable urban mobility with dedicated right-of-way infrastructure. It also has rapid level boarding and alighting to and from dedicated buses; pre-board fare collection and fare verification; enclosed dedicated stations; intelligent technology systems; and integration with other types of public transport.
While there has been historic underinvestment in public transport since the trams, government is now introducing catalytic and flagship projects such as Gautrain, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) modernisation and Rea Vaya.
They are doing it because high quality public transport can make a significant impact to liveability and residents’ quality of life.
After more than five years of experience in the south west of the city, the next phase of the BRT is set to roll out in the north east of Johannesburg – drawing from the lessons of the past.
Key Rea Vaya infrastructure elements include roads, stations and bus depots.
Two important features characterise Joburg’s transport system: the majority of residents do not own cars and, in contrast, middle-income residents are resolutely car-orientated.
Developing high-density movement corridors anchored by transit nodes to restructure the city, and promote efficient land use and energy consumption is the final component of the JDA’s medium-term development strategy.
The JDA will continue to serve the City’s Department of Transportation as implementing agent for the BRT.