Govt must 'move quickly' on transport

2010-09-09 17:11

Johannesburg - The government needs to move quickly if it is to capitalise on gains in the transport sector made during the 2010 World Cup, according to a survey released on Thursday.

“Our analysis indicates that currently there’s an opportunity to capitalise on these positive experiences and the potential change in the public’s mindset with regard to public transport,” Deloitte director of transport services Dee Botha said in a statement.

According to the survey of 1 477 people, most of the middle to upper income earners polled said they used private vehicles to attend matches.

However 30% used public buses and 12% Metrorail trains.

Those spectators who did use public transport said they noted a better standard of safety and cleanliness. Many of the respondents who had never used public transport before said they would do so again because of their positive experiences.

“(Capitalising on the experience) is potentially a crucial and time-sensitive step as we need to ensure that the extensive transport improvements, particularly with regards to rail and buses, are not rendered redundant in the long term to South Africans and tourists alike," Botha said.

'Overhauling' transport system

In the same statement, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said the government was "overhauling" its transport system to capitalise on the gains.

“We’re well on our way to overhauling our public transport system, which many South Africans were initially reluctant to use, in a country where the private vehicle is king.”

Despite the generally positive reviews, the respondents of the survey did complain that public transport didn't offer enough facilities for the disabled, children and pregnant women.

There was also a lack of information about the public transport available and schedules, prices and delays. The respondents said Metrorail performed poorly when it came to reporting train delays.

The transport department had rolled out a comprehensive website for the tournament, but it was believed this was done too late to be beneficial.

Respondents also complained that unfinished road works, potholes and non-functional traffic lights were problems that re-emerged after the World Cup. They also complained about the price of airline and Gautrain tickets.