Johannesburg plans to extend its Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) services from March, a councillor said on Wednesday.

Rehana Moosajee, member of the mayoral committee for transport, said the city was ready to operate all the services scheduled for phase 1A of the project.

“From 1 March 2010 there will be a complimentary service running directly from Dobsonville to the Johannesburg CBD and Ellis Park station and feeder services transporting passengers from Naledi to Thokoza Park station, from Jabavu to Lake View station and from Mofolo to Boomtown station,” said Moosajee.

These routes will be additional to the daily trunk route service running from Thokoza Park in Soweto to Ellis Park, that had been operational from August 31, 2009.

“On this route passenger numbers have increased from a daily average of 11,800 in September 2009 to highs of 17,000 in early December 2009,” said Moosajee.

The final services scheduled for introduction on May 3, 2010 will include an additional route directly from Dobsonville to Maponya Mall and feeder services from Protea Glen to Thokoza Park and from Eldorado Park to Thokoza Park.

A CBD distribution service will be reintroduced to link the trunk services with Braamfontein, Wits University and Hillbrow.

Services introduced on March 1 will operate from 5am to 8pm – the same as current operational times on the trunk route. All times will be extended to 10.40pm from May 3.

Saturday and Sunday services will also be introduced.

The buses on the trunk route will run on three minute intervals during peak hours, reducing to 10 minute intervals in off-peak times.

On complimentary routes that join the trunk route, buses will arrive at five minute intervals, reducing to 15 minute intervals in off-peak times. On feeder routes, buses will arrive on 12 minute intervals in peak times, stretching to 20 minutes in off-peak times.

It was also possible that operation times may be extended during the night.

Moosajee said a ticket on the trunk route costs R6 and a feeder route joining the trunk route will cost R9.50.

Ticket prices will stay the same during the World Cup, when the city is expected to transport 20,000 spectators between Soccer City and Ellis Park on match days.

“We can’t inflate rates like the private sector,” said Lisa Seftel of Johannesburg’s transport department.

Rea Vaya was working on phase 1B of the project. This route was originally planned to run from Soweto to Sunninghill with a trunk route to Sandton, but had since been refined.

The route, which will cost an additional R1.5 billion, will now run from Noordgesig to Highgate, Empire Road, Parktown, Metro Centre and Rissik Street, to join phase 1A.

The total cost of both phases will be R3 billion, said Moosajee.