A layover is being constructed on the Pat Mbatha Highway between Joburg and Soweto, where Rea Vaya bus drivers will be able to park, eat and rest between their services. This will help their health and save on fuel costs.

rea vaya busThe construction of a bus layover facility on Pat Mbatha Highway in Booysens will play a vital role in the existing Rea Vaya network by increasing efficiencies and providing facilities for bus drivers to rest in between routes.

According to the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) development manager, Zwakele Magagula, the layover will be used by bus drivers to park their vehicles between services, rather than their returning to the depots during their shift.

“The bus layover facilities will assist in minimising ‘dead running’. It will help to save fuel and increase the drivers’ health and wellbeing.”

A total of R20-million has been budgeted for the bus layover, which will be able to accommodate up to 140 buses on two hectares of land.

“The site is strategically situated along the BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] route for ease and access to and from the BRT system,” Magagula said. “The facility will serve as a benchmark for future expansion of the infrastructure and network coverage.”

Construction on the layover started in November 2014, and is expected to finish this October. “It is anticipated that this project should be completed by the end of 2015. The bus operating company can operate from around the same period.”

It is anticipated that the layover will provide a safer, comfortable and more convenient place for operators to take their breaks. There will be facilities for drivers, such as a meal room, amenities, guardrooms and administration, and a dispatch area.

The new layover will join the two already in operation in Joburg – one in Ellis Park and one in Turffontein. “These are used by the BRT buses but are not formalised as this development [will be],” explained Magagula.