Policy makers in the South African province of Gauteng have launched a transport masterplan which aims to make rail the ‘backbone’ of the region’s public transport network.
The 25-year plan points towards a more integrated approach to transport planning, ensuring that residential and commercial development takes place along the province’s main passenger rail corridors. It also stipulates general aims to modernise the existing infrastructure and set future performance targets.
The report states that: “Due to under-investment during the past number of decades, passenger rail transport is not playing its appropriate role in Gauteng.
“There are indications that metropolitan transport planners do not consider the service levels on the rail transport system as sufficiently reliable to form the backbone of an integrated public transport network.
“These problems are exacerbated by many problems such as cable theft and ageing rolling stock.”
The study has been led by the chief executive of Gautrain, Jack van der Merwe.
He said: “The growth in population will increase the passenger trips to approximately 25 million per day, resulting in serious traffic congestion.
“There is real threat to our future if we continue on our existing path as the situation will be even more threatening if we become comfortable with and used the current transport facilities.”