The headline, Taxi drivers want time to adjust to BRT (July 28) gives an accurate impression of the views of the Nelson Mandela Bay Public Transport Forum.

Unfortunately, the article itself fails to support the headline. It suggests that the forum is trying to frustrate government proposals. The opposite is the case.

The forum represents all 10 taxi associations in Nelson Mandela Bay. It fully supports the municipality’s plans for an Integrated Public Transport System. The differences have arisen over the speed with which the plans will be implemented.

National government policy requires that a given route be converted overnight from its present mix of informal sector taxis and formal sector buses, to a highly formalised BRT-and-feeder system. The forum believes that, given the magnitude of the change, the process should be phased.

That does mean that the integrated system will not be in operation for the World Cup in 2010. But that is also likely to be the position in those cities trying to rush the implementation of BRT and thus encountering opposition.

The forum is working closely with the municipality to ensure there is adequate public transport for 2010 visitors.

In brief, the forum believes that a gradual transition from the present situation to the agreed end state of integrated public transport will be more likely to lead to the implementation of BRT than any form of quick fix.

Melekile Hani

Chairman: Nelson Mandela Bay Public Transport Forum