A BRT station in Johannesburg puts U.S. counterparts to shame. (ITDP / Flickr)

“We want to thank our commuters for having exercised patience during this difficult period.”

Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) commuters in Johannesburg will only start getting a sense of when services will resume on Friday after more than 100 operators were fired for staying away from work without explanation.
They were found guilty of misconduct following last month’s disciplinary hearing. Since then, Piotrans, the company which manages the operations of all Rea Vaya buses, has embarked on a recruitment drive for new operators to replace those expelled. Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Piotrans’ general manager of strategy and transformation, Dumisani Mntambo, said they were satisfied with how their plans were going in terms of the recruitment drive.

He said he could not say much about what the plan entailed.

“We will be meeting with the City of Johannesburg to share with them what our plan is all about and if they are happy, we will implement.

“We want to thank our commuters for having exercised patience during this difficult period.

“But at the same time we want to assure them that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that services resume soon,” said Mntambo.

He said the recruitment process was taking time because they did not want to risk or compromise the safety of commuters.

Prospective bus operators are, according to Mntambo, required to undergo training, advanced driving, medical check ups and criminal record checks.