The long-awaited Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT), also known as A Re Yeng, is set to hit the cityâ€™s streets on Friday.
Pretoria will be the fourth city in South Africa with a bus rapid transit system, joining the City ofJohannesburg, the City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa made the announcement on Tuesday when awarding certificates to 43 bus drivers.
The drivers, who were mostly taxi drivers, were awarded certificates after successfully completing a bus driver course to familiarise themselves with the new buses.
As part of their training, the new bus drivers were taught customer care, dealing with challenging situations, dealing with internal customers, preparing for performance, knowing and understanding customers and buildingconfidence to serve, among other things.
Mayor Ramokgopa said the training was intended to produce bus driver conductors of a high calibre and standard.
â€œAll learners were found competent in the customer care module. Certain learners will make excellent customer care officials should they be exposed to such environments,â€ he said.
Mayor Ramokgopa said the practical driving part revealed the learners were competent.
He said the city will continue to evaluate and monitor the driversâ€™ performance going forward.
â€œIt changed the mind-set and attitude of the drivers. During training, driversâ€™ individual strength were highlighted which empowered all of them to do better,â€ he said.
One of the new bus drivers, Kleinbooi Mashiane, told SAnews that he could not wait to operate the new buses.
â€œI am very happy about this job,â€ he said. Mashiane used to be a taxi driver in the cityâ€™s city centre.
The TRT aims to provide an efficient and accessible transport system comparable to private transport.
The City of Tshwane started the construction of South Africaâ€™s latest bus TRT system in Arcadia, Hatfield, in July 2012.
The R2.6 billion TRT system, which forms part of the cityâ€™s revitalisation project, is part of a global BRT concept, with more than 47 TRT systems operating worldwide.
Once completed, the TRT system will consist of a total of 80 kilometres of bus lines, 62 stations and will run from Mabopane through Pretoria CBD, past Menlyn and on to Mamelodi.
The system will consist of about 340 buses, some of which will be powered by gas.
The buses will travel along dedicated bus lanes in the centre of the roadway allowing passengers to avoid the traffic and get to their destinations faster, safer and on time.
The TRT buses will run from 5 am until midnight at two to four minute intervals during peak periods, and seven to ten minutes during off-peak periods.