On Carte Blanche on Sunday there was a small documentary on the ease and speed with which commuters can travel from Pretoria to the JSE in Sandton JHB by using the Gautrain. A comparison was made between the time and travel of driving with a Porche and travelling by train.
It appears that many people are travelling with the Gautrain on a daily basis, and this number is set to increase!
What will the impact be of increased accessibility to quality public transport in Gauteng?
I would like to share a few observations I have come across in the budget speech delivered by Ismail Vadi, MEC of Roads & Transport Gauteng. He made a few very important points in his speech on public transport and I would like to focus on some of them.
- Impact and importance of Public Transport
“It should be evident to all of us that our public transport system impacts in a very real way on the lives of our citizens; no less than the provision of education or the rendering of health services. It has become an issue of intense public interest and concern. It is precisely for this reason that the Gauteng ANC, at its Provincial General Council held last week, resolved that an affordable, safe and reliable road and public transport network, based on an overall transport master plan, are essential for a vibrant global city-region.”
- Traffic Volumes on Roads in Gauteng
“At the same time, traffic volumes on our roads are extremely heavy. In total, 66 million vehicle-kilometres – that is the total distance travelled by all vehicles in one day – are travelled by about 4 million cars every day on the roads in our province. This totals to 24 billion vehicle-kilometres annually. Over half of the provincial roads in Gauteng carry more than 5000 vehicles per day and 38 percent of the roads carry more than 10 000 cars per day.”
- Need to preserve and Repair the Road Network
“These facts say something to all of us. It says that we must act quickly and decisively to preserve our road network. The Department, therefore, has taken a strategic decision to focus on repairing, maintaining and rehabilitating our roads, rather than focusing on constructing new roads. This we must do to guarantee safety to our motorists; and to minimise the excessive road reconstruction costs that we will incur over time if we neglect to repair them timeously”
- Public Perception and Impact of Gautrain on Public Transport
“A public survey conducted in February this year shows that people in general are very positive about Gautrain. The opinion survey shows that:
– Gautrain is seen as improving and transforming public transport;
– its leadership is seen as having the ability to compete on an international level;
– 80 percent of respondents indicated that they are likely to use Gautrain; and that it has a positive, distinctive and recognisable brand perception.
Will improved Public Transport affect Car Insurance needs?
What is quite clear from the above comments is that Government is committed to providing and improving quality public transport. There is a need to reduce traffic congestion by improving public transport facilities and services, and an understanding that the success in doing so will enable thousands more to commute via train and buses.
As thousands of commuters may enjoy the benefits of public transport, many will travel less in their personal vehicles and may also seek to adjust their car insurance policies to that of policies developed around a Pay As You Drive structure.