As part of the October Transport Month Campaign, the City of Ekurhuleni is proud to introduce the first official run of its bus rapid transit service, Harambee, on Wednesday, 18 October 2017, on a segment of its Phase 1A operations.
The new 38 km service route will operate between Tembisa and Isando, with eight buses running in mixed traffic.
The service will commence at Station 7 at the corner of Andrew Mapheto Drive and George Nyanga Road. It will proceed along Andrew Mapheto Drive, Zuurfontein Road and Isando Road up to Brewery Street. It will travel through Isando and then return to Tembisa.
Passengers will get on board and off board utilising the 33 kerbside stops along the route.
Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, readily welcomed the new public transport service saying it was “long overdue”.
“I am really excited that this service has finally been launched as we celebrate 2017 October Transport Month.
“There has been unfortunate delays in the implementation of the Harambee but the stage has been set for the progressive roll-out of this essential transport service for the residents of Ekurhuleni,” said Vadi.
The announcement by the municipality of a limited service follows a series of tests and on the job training of all personnel involved in operations.
Over time the new elements will be introduced into the system until it is ready to operate as a fully-fledged Bus Rapid Transit System.
The new buses will carry 36 seated and 54 standing passengers. The buses also cater for people living with physical disabilities.
Each bus will accommodate one wheelchair conveniently situated on the aisle next to the doors. For only R13.00 per single trip, prospective passengers will be able to commute to their desired destinations between Tembisa and Isando.
Tickets will be sold at any of the two Ekurhuleni branded mobile kiosks, which will be situated at the Tembisa Police Station and the Birch Acres Mall in Isando. The kiosks will operate from 05:00 until 19:00 on weekdays.
There are two ticketing options. Passengers utilising the ticket on the same day will be issued with a paper ticket that will expire on the same day.
Should the passenger want a ticket that will last longer he/she will be advised to ask for a Mi-fare ticket. This will be issued at no extra cost and is valid for more than one day.
The Harambee service will be scheduled according to a pre-determined timetable.
Harambee passengers will be able to move with ease through the city from 05:00 until 19:00 on weekdays, with 20 minute peak hour intervals (5:00 to 9:00 and 15:00 to 19:00), and hourly intervals during off-peak hours (09:00 to 15:00).
The service will also be available on Saturdays from 06:00 to 16:30 with 20 minute peak hour intervals and hourly off-peak intervals. The service will not be available on Sunday and public holidays.
The full roll-out of the Harambee Phase 1A service will comprise of the construction of pedestrian bridges and implementation of various milestones to ensure that this innovative project is a success.
The milestones to be reached over time are as follows:
– Additional 32 buses to be added to the service in February 2018.
– The introduction of an EMV-based ticketing solution in February 2018.
– The first section of trunk route and trunk stations to be operational in September 2018.
– An additional 16 km route and 40 more buses will be operational in April 2019, which will incorporate the section to Tembisa Hospital.
– The completion of the full Phase 1A is planned for 2020.
Meanwhile, the City urges motorists to pay careful attention when approaching traffic signal intersections along the trunk route on Zuurfontein Road as construction of various median stations and pedestrian bridges is still ongoing.
The pedestrian bridges will assist passengers to safely cross from the sidewalks to the median station when completed. Motorists are urged to drive within the speed limit and be alert to construction vehicles that will be travelling on the surrounding roads.
The City of Ekurhuleni, in partnership with its residents, is committed to developing the Harambee brand into a people-orientated public transport service that will fulfil the need for a safe, reliable, affordable public transport that supports the regional economy.