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Call for ITS to integrate minibus taxis into a public transportation system in South Africa

Lee Baker
18 January 2018

The ITS sector has received a call to act to integrate various transport services in South Africa, including the minibus taxis that make up "almost 75% of the public transport system" but ill-planned and costly.

The claims were made by Thomas Snyman, chairman of the nation's Intelligent Transport Society, who said that "a lack of sufficient planning to integrate all the different modes" had left those relying on public transport using minibus services which take up to 30% of their monthly income. Snyman, who is also Huawei's ITS Solutions director, writing in South Africa's ITWeb, said that the introduction of an "expensive" bus rapid transit system a number of years ago had not led to "a pool of different services simply vanishing" which is why "the answer lies in getting these various services to work together in a new, 'hybrid,' transport system," he asserted.

Technology would allow all revenue for travel to be collected through automatic fare collection systems, and would also allow all routes to be optimised to prevent over-saturation of vehicles on individual routes and subsidies for all services to be provided. He even saw a role for ITS to allow the planned re-deployment of obsolete taxi vehicles as "feeder services to the bigger public transport system [of] buses and trains". ITS, he said concluding, "will enable... the best use of limited [transport] resources" in busy metropolises such as Johannesburg.

His comments came after BRT systems have been introduced in a number of cities across Africa, with a system in Lagos in Nigeria lauded by the World Bank.

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