New Durban transport system no threat to taxis, buses - City

2015-11-19 19:32
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PICS: Durban commuters stranded as public transport is halted

Commuters have been left without public transport in the eThekwini Municipality after 300 vehicles were impounded at the weekend. View pics as the situation unfolds here.

Durban – The GO!Durban public transport initiative is now in deep consultation with stakeholders in the taxi industry, an eThekwini official has said.

The project, which promised to ensure improved mobility for all, aimed to get Durban in line with public transport of successful cities world-wide. It will make public transport "an integral part of the economic and social functioning that moves it forward".

The city's deputy head of public transport operations, Mlungisi Wosiyana, was speaking about the impact of the project on the taxi industry during a media update on the initiative.

Wosiyana said talks with the industry were ongoing since a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February 2014.

"These negotiations are constant and we are working with advisors within the industry to ensure what we do is done correctly and we all benefit from this project. We consider the taxi industry to be one of our major stakeholders," he said.

'We are not going to leave anybody out'

Wosiyana explained that various modes of transport would still be in operation. 

"We will still have minibus taxis and buses. There will be dedicated lanes for buses and we will also have our rail services."

He added: "We have to ensure that all within this public transport system maintain jobs. We will be undertaking a skills audit to ensure taxi operators for example, could advance to code 10 or 14 driver’s licences so they could also drive buses.

"We are not going to leave anybody out. Remember this system is integrated – this means working with everyone."

Municipal manager Sbu Sithole also attempted to allay fears of a taxi industry revolt, saying the negotiations were not easy.

"We have seen from our other cities throughout the country that negotiations with the taxi industry are tough, but we want to be certain there is a win-win for all parties involved."

The taxi industry brought Durban to a standstill earlier this year when it went on strike after metro police clamped down on drivers without permits. 

Read more on:    durban  |  transport

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