The City of Tshwane is ready to launch the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system believing that it will bring a comfortable, reliable and safe public transport service in and around Pretoria.

It said at the weekend “it is all systems go” regarding its readiness.

The BRT, expected to be launched later this month, was also believed to be the beginning of the public transport system’s transformation around the city.

City spokesman Brenda Mpitsang said the project will consist of two main lines.

Line 1 will be from Mabopane along the R80 freeway to the Belle Ombre and Pretoria Station.

Line 2 will run from Mamelodi along route K69, past the Menlyn area, University of Pretoria to the Pretoria Station and the Belle Ombre Station.

“Priority was given to Line 1 and it is envisaged that construction will start early in 2010, that is January/- February 2010.

“It will be completed and operational by March 2011.

“Completion of Line 2 is subject to availability of funding,” she said.

Mpitsang said they had decided to start with the Line 1 project from Mabopane Station through Soshanguve to the CBD as that was the area where there was the greatest need to improve public transport for the commuters.

It will also provide the commuters with alternative public transport options.

The demand along that corridor was also high and travel times were relatively long.

Mpitsang said government would provide the bulk of the funding for the project.

“The city’s financial situation, being a short-term cash flow problem, will not influence the implementation of the project.

“This will also be supported by the sound position of the city in terms of loans as it has always followed a conservative approach regarding the acquisition of loans,” she said.

In terms of ensuring that adequate stakeholder involvement and public participation was observed, Mpitsang said the City had already had discussions with the taxi associations and bus operators in the city