â€œTransportÂ is the heartbeat of South Africaâ€™s economic growth and social development,â€ saysÂ Department of Transport.
Public transport plays a huge role because South Africans are dependent on it.While cars dominate the roads,public transport still plays a critical role;transporting the South African working class on a daily basis.
Public transport commuters face significant public transport problems
Diary of Â some of this monthâ€™s public transport woes
- Â A five year old girl died and nine others gotÂ injured on the N1 near the R101 in Polokwane this month. It is understoodÂ the accident was caused by one taxi towing another, when one of the driversÂ lost control that saw the taxi rolling.
- The South African taxi industry has alsoÂ seen numerous incidents of violence among taxi drivers and their operators.Â On 4 February, a taxi driver was shot dead at Bree Street taxi rank in the Johannesburg CBD,Â metro police said.
- Rea Vaya bus service has been suspended until there are enoughÂ drivers to operate. This is after Rea vaya striking bus drivers were suspended.Â The strike started two weeks ago and has inconvenienced its commuters,Â especially those who do not have money to board taxis.
Most students rely onÂ public transport such as buses for their daily trips. University InstitutionsÂ in Johannesburg have buses allocated to their students. Primary and High schoolÂ pupils also rely heavily on buses to get to school.
Barely two months into 2015 â€“ 10 pupils have died and more than 30 injured in accidents across the country. Speaking to IOL news ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring, he said most accidents involving pupils transport occurred because of overloading.
The national and provincialÂ governments have firm legislation around transporting scholars; the nationalÂ scholar policy.
â€œThis policy recognises the Â need to bring a uniform approach to the transportation of scholars and provideÂ a safe, reliable and efficient transport system,â€ said former minister ofÂ transport JT Radebe, in the final draft foreword of the policy.
They are most popular because they are fairly affordable for everyday trips compared to other modesÂ of transport. A single train ticket only costs R8.50 to the townships and townsÂ around the Gauteng province.The train service in South Africa run by Metro-rail Trains is a popular means of transport especiallyÂ among the poorer communities. The metro-rail train is characterised by theÂ yellow and grey trains operating across the country.
Metro trains have had some problems with regard to safety and overloading.
According to FrugalMonkey (InternationalÂ travel website) metro trains are not recommended if you are travelling withÂ children and it would be advisable to take extra care when you are at theÂ station.
For safety reasons, Metro works closely with the Victorian Police Transit Safety Division. They also haveÂ CCTV surveillance on trains and in stations. In addition, there is an increasedÂ lighting and employee presence in stations and car parks according to metroÂ website.
According to Arrive Alive there are approximately 3.9 million public transport commuters In South Africa. The
2.5 million taxi commuters account for over 63% of public transport work trips.
Bus services account for another 22% of public transport commuters and the balanceÂ are carried to work by train, according to Arrive Alive.
A study done by the Automobile Associations of South Africa recorded an annualÂ total of 70 000 minibus taxi crashes.
This indicates that taxis in SA amount for double the rate of crashes than all otherÂ public vehicles.
Taxis are the most popular mode of transport in urban areas. Of the 36 lives lost onÂ our roads daily, three are lost in taxi related accidents.