This, as Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, will today officially launch the city’s Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN). The project, which has been in the pipeline for several years with millions unaccounted for, will today finally be introduced to the community of Mangaung. The project, which includes the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, has in the past sparked controversy with various taxi associations and Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport raising concerns over the success of it, while the regions are subjected to poor road infrastructure due to the municipality’s alleged lack of planning and failure to keep all roads in good condition.
Web: Various taxi operators have in the past months also taken to the streets to raise their concerns over how the new modes of transportation will affect the taxi industry.
Following these concerns, Mlamleli will today, during her launch in Phahameng, Bloemfontein, be expected to address questions as to how the Integrated Public Transport Network will be beneficial to the Mangaung residents and the province at large, as well as to how much they are coughing up on the project coupled with the money that was allocated to the municipality by the National Department of Transport.
The project has been listed in the Transport Committee’s report as amongst those that need to be attended to and be completed.
According to the report, South Africa is required to develop integrated public transport networks (IPTNs) as outlined in the Public Transport Strategy of 2007. Local rail, bus, minibus taxi, and on-demand services have to be integrated and have to link with long term services like air, train, coach and midi-bus taxis. The Department has prioritised Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), High-quality Bus Services and Rapid Rail as critical elements of the IPTN where the municipal situation warrants such an intervention. Some of the challenges identified by the 2003 NHTS were that SA had a poor public transport system and yet only 31% of SA households had access to a car.