Transport running smoothly - 2010 World Cup
Thursday 1, July 2010
Pretoria - The transport milestones developed during the 2010 FIFA World Cup form part of the lasting legacy that will be enjoyed by generations of South Africans for many decades, long after the World Cup has come and gone.
"Credit for the transport achievements since the start of the World Cup needs to go to all spheres of government, in particular to host cities, and to a range of parastatal entities in the aviation, rail and road sectors. We should also salute private sector public transport operators. Local bus and coach operators and, indeed, the often maligned minibus-taxi industry have all come to the party and done us proud."
There have, of course, been a few challenges over the past weeks. These included traffic jams in Johannesburg on the opening day of the World Cup and delays in and around the stadium and park and ride facilities. In part these were caused by the tendency of local fans to use private vehicles rather than the available public transport. There have been operational improvements at Soccer City since then and we are also seeing a growing uptake in the use of public transport. Despite some initial problems, generally transport is now moving smoothly.
Given the deep-seated historical legacy of apartheid-inspired geographical marginalisation of the majority of South Africans, and decades of under-investment in public transport, it was always appreciated that access and mobility would be the key challenges in hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In this half-time evaluation, therefore, we are pleased to say that, just as on the playing-field, so off the playing-field this World Cup has produced some new stars and some happy surprises.
From 1996 the South African government identified public transport as the key legacy project for this World Cup. Over the last several years a major capital injection into transport-related infrastructure and operations has begun to produce some important results.
Public transport forms the backbone of transport plans for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. To this end, Government has invested more than R 40 billion rand to ensure a safe, efficient and reliable public transportation system for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This includes customer-focused and world-class airports, upgraded train stations and refurbished coaches to luxury buses and integrated rapid public transport networks such as the bus rapid transit system.
One of the key elements in determining a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup is the use of public transport, in order to significantly reduce congestion on the roads and assist fans to arrive in good time for games. The Department of Transport once again calls on soccer fans to make use of public transport and the wonderful infrastructure that has been put in place.
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