Taxi operators have called on the Tshwane Metro Council not to exclude them from discussions involving the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Moeletsi Thulo, chairperson of the Soshanguve Taxi Association and the SA Local and Long Distance Taxi and Bus Organisation, told Pretoria News at the launch of a BRT station in Soshanguve on Wednesday that they wanted to see the system running smoothly and catering for all people.

The concept designs of the multi-million rand project were launched by executive mayor Gwen Ramokgopa, who said the municipality was committed to involving all stakeholders in the implementation of the BRT project. Thulo said he was aware of how the BRT operated as he was part of a delegation sent abroad by government to study the project in countries such as France and Colombia. He said the problem with the system in Johannesburg was that it was not properly planned. “There is no feeder system to cater for the different stations,” he said.

Thulo said that in the long run, the BRT would be the best mode of transport if run properly. “We are not against the BRT system and all we are saying is that the municipality should make us part of the planning for the project,” said Thulo. He said the city should provide feeder transport for commuters from different areas to the main stations. The first line of the service will start from Mabopane railway station, through Soshanguve to Pretoria station.

Ramokgopa said the municipality was granted the Record of Decision by the Department of Environmental Affairs on October 21, 2009, to proceed with the construction of Line 1 of the project. The buses will have dedicated lanes on the highway.