A Critical Review Of The GoGeorge BRT System: Examining The ‘Precarious Success’ Of The Phase 1 Of The Go George BRT System; Based On A Tourist Perception

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Submission Summary
A repetitive account of the GoGeorge BRT System communicated by the Commuter Interviewees is recognised as part of the Human-Centred Planning emergent theme, in that the operations of the BRT system focus on the public who make use of the public transportation, improving the quality of life of commuters as a whole. Interviewees repeatedly made reference to the GoGeorge Child Scheme programme, centred around the transportation of school children in the Blanco residential node, as well as the driving behaviour of GoGeorge Bus Operators in comparison to the reckless driving behaviour of local George minibus taxis. The Blanco community has embraced the GoGeorge BRT system as a tool which has bettered their quality of life, to the point where commuters encourage fellow Blanco residents and tourists to make use of the public transport system, based on their individual and personal positive familiarities. It is crucial to note that this amount of positive feedback from GoGeorge commuters was unanticipated, nevertheless embraced. Not only did the local and provincial governments introduce an innovative Public Private Partnership between local minibus taxi associations and the GoGeorge consortium, preserving existing road networks for future expansion and potential development served as the driving force behind this initiative. By entering into negotiations with local minibus taxi associations, George local municipality was able to introduce a new job creation avenue by means of offering GoGeorge share incentives to minibus associations and drivers as a way to generate income owing to their operating route network being reduced. In your opinion, has the introduction of the GoGeorge BRT system been beneficial to the Blanco community? Altogether the interviewees responded to the question with positive feedback, not only praising the GoGeorge BRT system but presenting real time evidence of the alternative public transport has bettered the lives of the Blanco community. Informant 1 and 2 responded to the above question highlighting the resultant job creation of the GoGeorge BRT system; citing community members who were previously unemployed now form part of the South African employment pool, being employed as bus operators, Marshalls, station cleaners and customer centre personnel. Commuter 2 responded to the above question reinforcing the innovative GoGeorge Child Scheme, which is centred around transporting school children to and from local schools, as a more affordable and safer option than making use of minibus taxis. The safety of children was stressed as previously children were often left destitute when making use of minibus taxis owing to ongoing turf wars, unroadworthy minibus taxis, inconsistent travel schedules and the overall inefficiency of minibus taxi associations. This respondent communicated that upon the introduction of the GoGeorge Child Scheme programme, community members feel more at ease knowing their children are being transported in safe vehicles at scheduled times and with minimal contact to minibus taxis and their inter-association violent outbreaks. Commuter 1 responded to the above question highlighting the aiding tools buses are equipped with to assist the elderly, such as priority seating and wheelchair lifts, displaying the human centred focus of the GoGeorge BRT system. In addition to this, the worker behaviour of GoGeorge personnel was applauded in that Marshalls and bus operators ensure the safety of all passenger commuters, by displaying patience, a helping hand and establishing relationships with commuters, whereas minibus taxis would often fail to stop to pick up the elderly citing the elderly as more of a liability to the minibus taxi operations. The GoGeorge personnel assist the elderly with loading purchased onto the buses, ensuring they are assigned to the designated priority seating during on-loading and off-loading, resulting in a better public transportation experience.
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5: Uniqueness and connectivity. Al-Baraha: unlocking urban futures
Senior Town & Regional Planning
Homesoil Engineering (Pty) Ltd

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