While a lot wear themselves out to earn little just for upkeep, some are paid for being idle thanks to the arrival of Rea Vaya buses. Taxi owners in South Africa now earn a whooping sum of R830,000 per taxi as compensation for restraint of trade.
These owners of 317 minibus taxis have been made rich through Johannesburg’s offering of R263 million in order for them to permanently idle their vehicles that operate on routes now covered by Rea Vaya buses.
The taxis paved way for Phase 1B of Rea Vaya, which takes passengers aboard from Soweto through Noordgesig, Pennyville, Riverlea, Bosmont, Coronationville, Newclare, Westbury, Westdene, Melville, Auckland Park, Parktown and Braamfontein to the central business district.
Adding to the compensation, taxi owners would also be receiving the sum of R2.6-billion, or R221-million annually, to operate the bus system for the next 12 years as was signed by the City of Johannesburg in June 2015.
The city of Joburg was said to have had this agreement with the operating company Ditsamaiso for the operation of routes along Phase 1B. Negotiations lasted two years, resulting in affected taxi and bus operators becoming shareholders in Rea Vaya
Despite the huge sum of R3 Billion that was used in the construction of the Phase 1A and 1B of the Rea Vaya project, the bus system is still not enough to meet up with the large number of passengers for a system of its kind because of a lack of adequate passengers along the routes.
Speaking at the Transport Forum Month of Transport Celebrations held at the University of Johannesburg held last year, city’s executive director of transportation, Lisa Seftel said that Rea Vaya was exposed to about 10000 commuters who could use the service along Johannesburg corridors.
Hence, in a bid to meet up with the bus shortage, the city launched Corridors of Freedom, an initiative aimed at increasing population densities along the main transport routes by encouraging property developers and owners to build high-rise blocks near bus routes, enabling residents of Joburg to live closer to their places of work.
In the mean time, the city’s manager Trevor Fowler said at the city’s investor roadshow breakfast on Friday that they were making plans to increase density along particular transport routes to accommodate more than 40,000/km².