The first two tasks Jack van der Merwe has to tackle in establishing the Gauteng Transport Authority (GTA) is to secure the appointment of the GTA board, followed by updating the Gauteng transport model.
Addressing the Intelligent Transport Society of South Africa in Midrand on Tuesday, he said the provincial transport model had already been used in drawing up Gauteng’s Integrated Transport Management Plan and had only to be updated for planning purposes within the GTA.
This transport model (Emme-based) includes travel demand forecasting and network analysis.
Better known as Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO, Van der Merwe was in April appointed by former Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi to steer the establishment of the GTA.
Van der Merwe will remain in his position as head of the GMA during this period.
The Gauteng provincial government adopted the GTA Bill prior to the national and provincial elections, held on May 8.
The Bill provides for the creation of a single transport authority across the Gauteng city region, incorporating the provincial Department of Roads and Transport (DRT) and various municipal transport administrations.
The GTA will be responsible for integrated transport planning across local and provincial boundaries; contracting and management of subsidised transport services and enforcement and regulation of public transport operations.
The GTA would probably have a staff of between 90 and 100 people, said Van der Merwe.
The GTA will be governed by a chairperson and a board of 12 directors, which will consist of one representative each of the three metropolitan councils and two district municipalities in Gauteng, one member of the Gauteng transport department, as well as six transport specialists.
“It is important that the board functions with no political or commercial interference,” said Van der Merwe.
Gauteng’s public transport systems received between R8-billion and R9-billion a year, with the idea to consolidate this money into a single pot for the advancement of public transport across the province, said Van der Merwe.
The idea, down the line, was that public transport operators would have access to this pot if they adhered to certain minimum operational standards, he noted.
Systems which succeed in doing this would sport the “Gauteng on the Move” logo, communicating to public transport users the standards they should expect on the service.
Public transport operators which do not wish to access the central fund may continue to their activities, as long as they have a permit to do so.
The GTA will be guided by a strategic transport plan (STP), which must be tabled in the provincial legislature. The STP will give birth to an integrated implementation plan, which will steer GTA activities.