Shifting the Mindset on Public Transport

The World Cup is long gone; schools are in full swing and everyone is back at work. Road users are once again faced with the awful reality of traffic, road rage, car crashes and lack of discipline on the road. Let’s go back for a minute to the past two months and the lessons we learnt that we can take with us.

“Over the World Cup, we saw a shift in driver behaviour; people were more tolerant on the roads in light of welcoming the world and setting a good example. We saw that we really can exhibit exemplary time management on our roads, coupled with effective car pooling and a broad awakening to that incredible thing called public transport,” says the AA.

Public transport is something that we need to adopt as a long-term plan, shifting our mindset to accommodate travel by bus, Metro Rail and options like the Gautrain. The World Cup has shown that our public transportation system is adequately efficient to handle increased volumes of passengers and that perhaps the issue is more about safety and visible policing than getting from point A to B.

There is huge pressure on our roads infrastructure with a drive to build more lanes to handle the traffic volumes that we currently see. However, with the growth of infrastructure we see a further increase in the number of cars on the roads and traffic volumes do not seem to go down.

“The solutions lie in the development of public transport and an increasing trend for motorists to opt for two wheeled transport, but South Africans are slow to take either option and are loathe to leave the comfort of their vehicles at home,” says the AA.

Safety and enforcement have always been stumbling blocks in the successful implementation of public transport initiatives and for many motorists, the idea of public transport is too daunting.

“Getting the right systems in place, with proper enforcement and zero tolerance to reckless behaviour on the road will see us trusting public transport systems more, alleviating traffic congestion and having better traffic management systems,” the AA said.

Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126

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