The newly-established Gauteng Management Transport Authority’s (GMTA’s) first task was to establish an integrated ticketing system for public transport in Gauteng.

This meant commuters would use one ticket for the province’s bus, train and taxi systems.
Launched on Thursday, the GMTA has R25-million in its coffers for the current financial year, and an additional R10-million for immediate-term project interventions.

“By May 2009, before the Confederations Cup, we will have a consolidated public transport timetable, with all relevant information on all public transport operators, and modes of transport,” explained GMTA spokesperson Melissa Whitehead.

Following this, the GMTA would continue developing its level four integrated ticketing system, which included a system making use of an integrated timetable, ticket, and fare.

This system would make use of a type of ‘bank-card’, and the back-end system would be managed by the banking sector, with the systems and standards monitored by GMTA.

“An integrated transport management system will ensure intermodal connectivity, reduced transport costs, increased accessibility, and a more streamlined, accountable public service transport service across the province,” said Whitehead.

GTMA’s mandate included planning, coordination, facilitation, and the implementation of an integrated transportation network and related logistical systems. It would also provide regulation and technical assistance, resource management and financial sourcing.

This was a hefty task for a province with a modal split of 57% private car users, versus 43% public transport users, which resulted in congestion and long travel times.

The public transport split was further broken down into 51% of commuters using taxis, 35% travelling by train, and 14% making use of buses.

“The GTMA would seek to ensure that the imbalanced modal split is addressed, and that all modes of transport work as a synergistic whole,” the organisation said in a statement.
Whitehead noted that the GMTA had and would work in close consultation with the taxi industry.

THE EIGHT PORTFOLIOS
In addition to the integrated transport portfolio, which included systems, public transport, rail management and operating licences, the GTMA had another seven portfolios to maintain.

These were traffic management, which includes the new number plate system, drivers licence testing centres and intelligent safety and security systems; provincial roads, including all projects falling under the auspices of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Scheme; freight management; special projects, which dealt with 2010 but would be the portfolio dealing with incubator transportation investment initiatives; urban governance and finalising the Gauteng Land Transport Framework and managing local integrated transport plans; commuter involvement; and good governance.