Public transport is crucial to ensure a thriving economy with participation from all citizens. While the process of establishing modern and reliable public transport in South Africa seems slow, great strides have been made to ensure a better future for all South Africans.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) reported in 2013 that taxis transport approximately 15-million commuters daily and this consists of 60 to 70% of the commuting public and workforce.

While the taxi industry is offering support to the public, South African citizens need more options when it comes to public transport alternatives. This will ensure that prices stay competitive and with more options, citizens will be able to use transport methods that are the most convenient to them with regard to safety.

What Role Does Software Play?

Logistics management is key to ensuring that public transport in South Africa can stay competitive with the rest of the world. The burden of ensuring an affordable, efficient and smooth public transport system lies on the shoulders of adequate transport software solutions to manage new and existing infrastructure.

For public transport to be effective, a country’s citizens must feel comfortable and safe with the knowledge that the means available to them will get them to their destinations on time. Therefore, transport software plays a crucial role with regard to routing and scheduling and ensuring that the public is notified of bus and train schedules, destinations, routes as well as any changes and breakdowns.

In addition, transport software plays an important role in managing and automating all of the administrative processes that goes hand-in-hand with a public transport system.

More Infrastructure Needed

However, in South Africa, more infrastructure needs to be implemented to ensure an effective public transport system. Many advanced are being made with regard to implementation and should everything go according to plan, South Africans will have more freedom with regard to transport options and the country’s roads will be less congested and in a better condition.

South Africa Info reported in October 2013 that Johannesburg has commissioned the second phase of its multi-billion rand bus rapid transit system – part of a 13-city integrated public transport system roll-out that is creating tens of thousands of jobs and driving the localisation of bus manufacturing in South Africa.

The system, featuring dedicated bus lanes, easy access stations, reliable scheduling and routes designed both to integrate with other transport modes and connect previously undeserved urban areas, promises to transform public transport in South Africa’s major centres.

Bus rapid transit (BRT) systems are currently being constructed in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Port Elizabeth, and the the government plans to extend it to seven more cities – Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, East London, Polokwane, Msunduzi, Ekurhuleni and George – over the next five years.