Residents keen for Berea People Mover bus routes

ADDITIONAL People Mover bus routes may be on the cards for Durban following a survey conducted by ward councillor Chris Pappas.

Pappas said he had begun discussions with the city about extending the People Mover buses and currently there was talk about a pilot project.

He undertook an online survey in which he asked the community if they would make use of the People Mover bus if it ran to the Atrium Shopping Centre, up John Zikhali (Sydenham) Road, onto Moses Kotane (Sparks) Road and back, via Felix Dlamini (Brickfield) Road and down King Dinuzulu (Berea) Road.

He said out of the 435 respondents, 427 said they would use the buses, and eight said they wouldn’t.

“The municipality has indicated that it is not impossible and that they will look into it. They said the proposed routes have to be assessed to determine feasibility and costs,” he said.

According to Pappas, the monitoring company had to work out kilometres and implications on the fleet as well as on the routes and scheduling, and most importantly, if it was at all feasible, permits for the buses to operate on the routes have to be applied for in the Public Regulatory Entity, a process which is extremely long.

“I am excited about the possibility of extending the People Mover Bus route to incorporate the Berea area. This will be a good step towards providing residents with reliable and easily accessible public transport. There will need to be a lot of consultation, especially with taxi operators in the area but I am optimistic that we can all reach an agreement that benefits all parties. There is still a lot of work to be done but if we do not try, we will not see progress,” he said.

Pappas said the pilot route will make travelling to and from the inner city much easier and will also link the various tourist attractions and shopping centres on the Berea to the greater city centre. He said the centrepiece of the route will be the intersection of Overport Drive and Peter Mokaba Road near the Atrium Mall, however this proposal will be subject to analysis by the eThekwini Transport Authority.

“A preliminary survey conducted via social media shows that the community is ready for this development. Together with our city officials, we will work towards establishing this pilot route to the Berea,” he said.

Lauren Walford

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