Im­prov­ing trans­port

GO!Dur­ban pub­lic trans­port net­work set to be lo­cals choice and a game-changer for the city

The New Age (Free State) - - WESTERN CAPE NEWS - SIBONGIESNI MAPHUMULO si­bongisenim@the­

DUR­BAN is set to take its first steps to­wards a work­ing pub­lic trans­port sys­tem when eThek­wini’s in­te­grated pub­lic trans­port net­work, GO!Dur­ban, goes live with the much-an­tic­i­pated first route from Pine­town’s CBD to KwaMashu’s Bridge City soon to be launched.

This will mark a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the city in its bid to be Africa’s most car­ing and live­able city by 2030, once the ser­vice be­gins in the lat­ter part of 2018. Ac­cord­ing to the city, Go!Dur­ban once live, will be the trans­port of choice for lo­cals.

Of­fer­ing a safe and cheap means of travel be­tween Dur­ban and Pine­town, mayor Zandile Gumede said the new trans­port sys­tem would be a gamechanger for the city.

“Glob­ally we have seen how trans­port sys­tems have worked to im­prove the live­abil­ity of a city and un­lock eco­nomic and so­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties. So our first pro­vi­sion of a route in an area so in need of op­por­tu­ni­ties and devel­op­ment, is very ex­cit­ing,” Gumede said.

The first route, which fea­tures a ded­i­cated road lane only ac­cessed by the new state-of-the-art GO!Dur­ban buses, runs from Anderson Street in Pine­town’s CBD to Bridge City in KwaMashu util­is­ing the pro­vin­cial road MR577 (Du­misani Makhaye).

“This has been, and still re­mains one of the im­por­tant cat­alytic pro­grammes we have em­barked on, and it has come with a sea of vi­sion­ar­ies, ex­perts, plan­ners, con­trac­tors and labour who have been work­ing hard to de­liver the pro­to­type for the fu­ture.

“As part of the over­all process of pro­vid­ing a new safe and re­li­able sys­tem, cur­rent pub­lic trans­port op­er­a­tor lead­er­ship and our city’s lead­er­ship are plan­ning how they will par­tic­i­pate and in­te­grate into the new sys­tem for the ben­e­fit of all stake­hold­ers.” Gumede said that the city would be em­bark­ing on a com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paign in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2018 to cre­ate aware­ness of how the new sys­tem would work.

“Ar­eas and precincts along the route have al­ready be­gun at­tract­ing in­vestors. Along the routes, up­grades of ur­ban precinct nodes with new light­ing, street fur­ni­ture and land­scap­ing, have al­ready be­gun to al­ter the way in which peo­ple use these spa­ces, mak­ing for much more user-friendly and safer en­vi­ron­ments.

“Our mes­sage to cit­i­zens, from com­muters, op­er­a­tors and busi­nesses – small, medium and large, is that as a city we can de­liver the in­fra­struc­ture and sys­tems, but it is yours to em­brace, look af­ter and utilise for the bet­ter­ment of all. This is a legacy pro­ject which means get­ting around the city and ac­cess­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties will con­tinue to im­prove and in that there is hope,” Gumede said.


SAFER TRAVEL: Go!Dur­ban goes live with its first route from Pine­town’s CBD to KwaMashu’s Bridge City.

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