Commuters stranded in BRT resistance

2010-03-15 07:57

Police had to escort the roll-out of the latest phase of

Johannesburg’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system this morning while taxi drivers

withdrew their services in protest against the system, leaving commuters

stranded.

According to city spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane, the Nancefield

depot in Soweto was blocked with rocks and stones.

Police had to be sent to the Merafe station after receiving

reports that commuters were being blocked from using the trains as an

alternative to the strained BRT system.

“It is worrying that when a government which has been elected by

people is trying to provide service... there are individuals who would want to

hold the process to ransom,” he said.

BRT bus stops were vandalised overnight and the city was working

with security agents to track down the perpetrators.

“The city’s position is that the doors are always open for anyone

that needs to engage. But the same people that claim to have not been consulted,

are the ones who keep coming into negotiations then walking out,” he said.

The services being rolled out this morning include a new complementary

bus service running directly from Dobsonville to the Johannesburg central

business district, and Ellis Park station, as well as feeder services

transporting passengers from Naledi to Thokoza Park station, from Jabavu to Lake

View station and from Mofolo to Boomtown station.

Worried about their livelihoods and claiming not to have been

adequately consulted, some taxi companies refused to work today, overloading

the BRT system.


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