Stats SA survey reveals commuters' endless headaches with transport

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New research shows South Africans' transport problems.
New research shows South Africans' transport problems.
News24/Amy Gibbings
  • Stats SA released its National Household Travel Survey on Thursday which gives insight into the travelling habits of South Africans and how they get to their workplaces and educational institutions.
  • Across provinces, the highest percentage of pupils who walked to their educational institution were found in KwaZulu-Natal (20.3%) and Gauteng (17.7%) followed by the Eastern Cape and Limpopo both at 14.6%.
  • The survey also found that train passengers had higher dissatisfaction rates, with the exception of fares, while taxi and bus passengers were particularly dissatisfied with facilities at taxi ranks or bus stops and the behaviour of the taxi/bus drivers.

The number of pupils who walk to school last year decreased to 10.1 million from 11 million in 2013, according to Stats SA.

Stats SA released its National Household Travel Survey on Thursday which gives insight into the travelling habits of South Africans and how they get to their workplaces and educational institutions.

"The primary purpose of undertaking a trip by household members was travelling to educational institutions," Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke said.

Across provinces, the highest percentage of pupils who walked to their educational institution were found in KwaZulu-Natal (20.3%) and Gauteng (17.7%) followed by the Eastern Cape and Limpopo both at 14.6%.

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"In 2020, learners who used public transport experienced long travel times in the morning to access their educational institution - train users travelled for 91 minutes, bus travellers spent 59 minutes travelling and taxi users travelled 51 minutes."

Pupils who walked all the way to their educational institution took about 29 minutes to arrive there.

"The percentage of learners who travelled for longer than 60 minutes to their educational institution increased most significantly in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng," according to the survey.

Trips to the workplace were the second most common purpose for household members to travel.

Destination

These trips were most predominant in Western Cape (37.4%), Gauteng (31.1%), and KwaZulu-Natal (28.3%).

According to the survey, about 17.4 million South Africans walked all the way to their destination, followed by 10.7 million individuals who made use of taxis and 6.2 million who used a car/truck as a driver.

Trains were the mode of travel that was least used by household members, except for Western Cape (1.6%) and Gauteng (1.5%), where more than one per cent of household members used this mode of transport.

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"There has been a general increase in households who used taxis (from 9.8 million to 11.4 million). However, a significant decrease was recorded in the number of households who used a bus (from 2.9 million to 2.1 million) and a train (1.4 million to 0.5 million) as their preferred mode of transport."

According to the survey, in 2020, travel costs (30.8%) surpassed travel time as (23,3%) as the biggest factor influencing modal choice of households. Flexibility was mentioned by 11.9% of households.

The survey also found that train passengers had higher dissatisfaction rates, with the exception of fares, while taxi and bus passengers were particularly dissatisfied with facilities at taxi ranks or bus stops, the behaviour of the taxi/bus drivers.

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