Transport committee begins meetings

2011-03-02 18:58

Johannesburg - The committee set up to tackle public transport issues in Gauteng, including the controversial tolling system, met for the first time on Wednesday, the national department of transport said.

“A Gauteng Public Transport Steering Committee chaired by director general of transport, George Mahlalela, held its first in a series of meetings today to discuss solutions to the public transport challenges facing Gauteng,” said spokesperson Thami Ngidi.

“They will be in meetings for the rest of the week.”

The committee comprises representatives of the national department of transport, the Gauteng department of transport, the Gauteng office of the premier, the City of Johannesburg, and the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni municipalities.

Ngidi said it also included the SA National Roads Agency Limited, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Gautrain Management, the SA National Taxi Council, the SA Bus Operators Association, political formations, organised labour, organised business and commuter organisations.

He said the fate of the toll tariffs would be decided by the end of March.

“The tolling issue is an urgent matter and has to be sorted out... we will have more clarity on it by the end of the month.

“We will also have a public transport plan and a plan for funding... if we only deal with the tolling issue then we will still have issues with traffic and congestion“.

Tempers flared after the SA National Roads Agency announced last month, that in June it would start charging 66c/km at the 42 electronic toll gates erected on the N1, N3, N12, N17, R21 and R24. The tolls cover a distance of about 185km. Concern was raised by businesses, labour and political parties, about the effect toll fees will have on the poor, the economy and alternative routes.

Ndebele announced a suspension of the toll tariffs last week.

Ngidi said the department had committed to finding “short-term remedial and relief measures” to public transport in Gauteng.

“This includes increasing the fleet of buses, taxis and coaches on critical routes, developing a compact for coordination between taxi, bus and rail operators.

“These included dedicated lanes for public transport vehicles and for private vehicles carrying three or more passengers, the so-called High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes“.

  • reality check - 2011-03-02 19:37

    -- Ah yes - I can just see it - a bunch of dumb , fat individuals eating and drinking it up at the expense of taxpayers, talking cr@p and achieving nothing. Yet another useless commitee with no brainpower trying to justify their importance and existence. Give it up ANC , you're useless in everything.

  • Just a Question - 2011-03-03 07:00

    Where is the money going that we pay for roads when we pay for our petrol? I don't see roads being upgraded with that or maintained. Another company is filling the potholes now with no state compensation. why do we need to pay toll if we already pay for road maintenance with every liter we put into our cars? Is it not time for the goverment to tell us where this money is spent because it is not on the roads - everytime a road is fixed it becomes a toll road. I hoop they can answer this - else the road maintanance fund money should be taken out of our petrol price.

  • Just a Quistion - 2011-03-03 07:10

    If this committe would realy like to solve the problem of congestion on the highways, don't make lane restrictions that is going to cause more congestion. block the trucks to use the highways during peak hours and most of the congestion will disappear. Up the lower limit speed on the highway and controll the lanes by speed ranges. Congestion happens when a vechile is driving in a lane at a slow speed and the rest of the traffic need to pass it. this is when accidents happen. if we would like to use other countries as examples to solve our problems then please look at all the of them and not only one before a decision is made on ways congestion needs to be sorted out

  • asz - 2011-03-03 11:03

    Own goal! All the people who were whining about tolls will now lose a lane to high occupancy vehicles. Shame.

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