Rea Vaya is being introduced to its future users at a fun day in Thokoza Park, in Soweto on Sunday, 16 August.

People living and working along the Phase 1A route, which runs from Soweto, through the inner city, to Ellis Park in the east, are urged to learn more about the new public transport system on the day.

Joburg’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network would start operating on 30 August and people would be able to ride for free on the first day, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo announced on Wednesday, 12 August.

He will be in Thokoza Park on Sunday, where he will unveil South Africa’s first BRT buses. Activities will take place from 11am to 5pm. Members of the public will get a chance to travel in the buses, which are fitted with CCTV cameras, advanced control equipment and features that cater for people with disabilities.

Other fun activities on the day will include soccer games, face painting, City mascots and competitions. Top performers will also be there to show their support for Rea Vaya and to entertain the crowd. They include DJ Sbu, DJ Milkshake, Mandoza, Brown Dash, Khanyi Mbau, and the Tap Bruise dancers and Dumisani dancers.

Rea Vaya is the single biggest component in the City’s strategy to expand its public transport footprint. It is expected to transport 430 000 passengers daily.

High floor buses will allow passengers to embark and disembark at closed, raised stations, with level boarding every half a kilometre to three quarters of a kilometre. Security and closed circuit television cameras will be used.

It will cut traffic congestion and contribute to faster transit times as well as less fuel wastage and air pollution.

Phase 1A routes will run from Regina Mundi Church to Orlando, in Soweto; it will run along Pat Mbatha Highway to the inner city, along Market and Commissioner streets. Two loops in the inner city will link the stadium in Orlando to the stadium in Ellis Park, by passing through Joubert Park.

Commuters will pay R3 a ticket to use the inner city routes, R5 a ticket for the trunk routes and R8 for any number of transfers in two hours.

During the starter services, buses using the inner city routes will operate between 5am and 8.30am and between 3pm and 8.30pm at 10- to 15-minute intervals.

Buses on the trunk routes will also operate between 5am and 8.30am and between 3pm and 8.30pm but at 20- to 30-minute intervals.

For more information, visit the Rea Vaya website or contact the Joburg Call Centre on 011 375 5555.