Do you know what is the most common type of transportation used in South Africa? It is not an automobile or machine-based transportation but one’s physical power. Yes, walking is the most common type that is used for transportation in South Africa.
Apart from walking which is used by about 17.4 million people, there are other modes as well. Over 10 million people use taxis and more than 6 million people are using cars/trucks as drivers.
In most developed countries, one of the signs of good governance is their well-maintained public transportation. Let’s discuss what type of public transportation is used in South Africa.
Modes of Public Transportation in South Africa:
Mainly there are three modes of transportation found in South Africa. They are; the Traditional railway system and Gautrain‒High-speed rail that operates between Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Oliver Tombo International Airport.
The second mode is the commuter Bus Industry which includes both Subsidized and non-Subsidized systems. While the third mode is 16 seated Minibus Taxi Industry.
The five rail commuters network makes South Africa the largest rail network in South Africa. Most of the people travel through the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa(PRASA), which owns and is responsible for the maintenance of this network.
PARSA has three types of division among the services namely, Metrorail, ShosholozaMeyl, and Premier class. Moreover, the Metrorail network has four commuter rail services that connect Urban and Suburban areas.
However, the services of these rail networks are not having many positive reviews. According toa 2014 report by National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), people are not satisfied with the services.
People are mainly concerned about the punctuality, crowding, and security of travel. However, the system is not providing them satisfaction in any of these aspects. As the trains are usually late and are always overcrowded.
Public buses are also one of the most commonly used modes of public transport in South Africa. This mode is safer than the minibus taxi service however it has other severe issues.
Most of the public transport is either ill-maintained or outdated which is a big challenge for South Africa. Passengers have complaints regarding the routes of busses as they drop them usually much far from the destination.
In this situation either people walk or use the money over another mode of transportation to reach the destination. Likewise, the buses have a longer travel time which increases fares of travel.
One more problem with this mode of transportation is that these buses move very slowly and take more time to reach the destination. Additionally, these buses are outdated so they are harmful to the environment.
A minibus taxi service is a type of shared taxi system. It has 16 seats thus making it a minibus sort of taxi. They are found in great quantity in South Africa as a mode of public transportation.
These minibus taxis are comparatively flexible in terms of drop-off location as compared to buses. They provide door-to-door service to the passengers.
However, there are many drawbacks to minibus taxis. Apart from air pollution, they are also responsible for noise pollution in the country.
Apart from this, most of them are unlicensed vehicles and also unlicensed drivers. They often break rules and many cases of harassment are reported from travelers of this service.
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Despite having many modes of public transport and the largest rail network in South Africa there are many travel issues. Some of those problems I have already stated above.
All these situations are making it difficult for people to travel by public transportation in South Africa. In my opinion, the government should make strong policies and laws for all public transportation modes.
Even if only betterment in minibus taxi service is achieved, hopefully, it will provide a big relief to the public.
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