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Sandton Central Rea Vaya bus project back on track

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Construction work on Sandton Central’s Rea Vaya phase 1C route, which began in 2014 but suffered several delays including due to political instability and pandemic-related halts, will resume on Monday (17 October).

The station – located on Rivonia Road between Katherine Street/Sandton Drive and Fifth Street – is one of two such stations under development in Sandton, which is home to the JSE and the headquarters of major banks and other listed companies.

Construction of the stations was initially scheduled for completion in 2019, but Covid-19-related delays and other challenges has pushed the date to sometime in 2024. 

The initial phase is estimated to take up to eight months and will include widening of the road and the relocation of underground cables.

During this time, two lanes of Rivonia Road will remain open for motorists. 

“As the country’s financial hub, everyday Sandton Central attracts many people for business, tourism, shopping and pleasure,” says Elaine Jack, manager of the Sandton Central Management District (SCMD).

“While there will be some short-term disruption to traffic, people from around the city and beyond will benefit from this new, convenient form of transport.”

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“The new Rivonia Road station is the final element of the many infrastructure improvements already made to roads, pavements and public transport to support the Rea Vaya service in Sandton Central. Projects like this help Sandton Central remain at the forefront of well-managed central business districts,” she adds.

The phase 1 C route runs from Johannesburg’s Park Station to Parktown, Orange Grove, Wynberg, Alexandra and on to the stations in Sandton’s Katherine Street and Rivonia Road.

Rea Vaya, Sandton, Sandton Central.

An artist’s impression of the second leg of the Sandton Central station on Rivonia Road. Image: Supplied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instability in City of Joburg

The Rea Vaya rapid bus transit project has been over 10 years in the making, having begun initial operations in 2009 ahead of the Fifa World Cup. Its first route linked Soweto to the Johannesburg CBD.

When conceptualised in the early 2000s, the aim was to create transport linkages between communities on the periphery of Johannesburg to the province’s financial centre Sandton.

Since then, attempts to achieve this task have apparently been held back by multiple leadership changes within the city council, partnership negotiations between the city and taxi operators and the advent of Covid-19. 

The City of Johannesburg has seen at least seven mayors come and go since 2014, when the Sandton leg of the project began construction.

Infrastructure improvements

Despite the delays, Rea Vaya has ushered in much-needed infrastructure development for the city, improving access to Sandton Central by building new bridges, widening main roads and constructing cycling and walking facilities. 

According to SCMD, the new Rea Vaya infrastructure will also feature 30.5km of walking and cycling paths as well as a cycling and walking path linking Alexandra and Sandton. 

Jack says  the development will perform the essential function of further integrating the city’s transport system, competing with world class cities. 

“These rapid bus transport services are a standard feature of leading cities worldwide. For Sandton Central, it ensures that South Africa’s financial hub continues to be well positioned to attract business, investment, shoppers, tourists, workforces and residents, with its availability of easy, sustainable, and affordable personal transport.”

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