14 November 2014
The City of Tshwane is a step closer to launching its bus rapid transit system with the unveiling of new state-of-the-art A Re Yeng buses today.
Speaking at the official unveiling of the buses, Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said he was pleased to see the realisation of A Re Yeng after months of hard work and negotiations. “The future of this City is very bright, a capital city with a difference,’ he said.
What makes A Re Yeng so unique is the way the City of Tshwane has unified the taxi and bus communities to make them the driving force of A Re Yeng, said Ramokgopa.
A Re Yeng buses will start operating from Monday, 17 November for a two-week test period before the service will start operating fully. This will ensure that motorists get a chance to get used to the running of the service and to the new traffic signals and road markings, according to the City.
A Re Yeng’s inception phase will run from Nana Sita Street in the CBD to Hatfield via Sunnyside. The service will also connect to the Gautrain station in Hatfield. A Re Yeng’s launch follows hard on the heels of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya and Cape Town’s Myciti Integrated Rapid Transit systems.
Earlier this week the City of Tshwane signed a bus operating company agreement with Tshwane Rapid Transit (Pty) Ltd, a company set up to manage A Re Yeng operations, the City states in its website . Tshwane City Manager Jason Ngobeni commended the taxi and bus industries for working together with the City of Tshwane and resolving challenges through dialogue and negotiations.
Speaking at the same occasion, Gauteng Premier David Makhura congratulated the City of Tshwane for unveiling the new state-of-the-art buses. “We envisage a future were public transport will be everywhere and more reliable. We envisage a future were the capital city is growing,’ he said.
Makhura commended the City for being able to engage the taxi industry in the running of the buses, saying some provinces could not do it.
The new buses will be operated by qualified former taxi drivers recruited from the various taxi associations in the City. The drivers were awarded certificates after successfully completing training on the operation of the new buses earlier this week.
All the new A Re Yeng buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi, are fully air conditioning and utilise low-floor technology which supports Euro V emission levels. The vehicles are also fitted with cameras which are monitored by operators at the Show Grounds.
In addition, the buses cater for passengers with special needs, including children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
The City said the A Re Yeng bus project will be rolled out in phases, culminating in the construction of 80 kilometre long dedicated lanes. The routes will comprise 51 bus stations that stretch from Soshanguve to Mamelodi, passing through the city centre and surrounding suburbs.
Once all the routes and bus stops have been completed, the buses will operate seven days a week from 6am until 8.25pm from Monday to Friday, with trunk services every seven minutes in peak periods and every ten minutes in off-peak periods.
On Saturdays, A Re Yeng will operate from 6am until 11.40pm, with ten-minute breaks between services during peak hours and 20-minute breaks during off-peak hours. The Sunday services will operate from 6am to 8am with 30-minute intervals.