The development officially starts today, with phase one of a R19-million project for the establishment of taxi ranks, ablution facilities and taxi offices.
Taxiprop, a subsidiary-arm of the South African Commuter Corporation (SARCC) says that about 30 000 to 40 000 commuters use taxis every day.
However, they more than often having to take them from dangerous places that are distant from their homes.
Taxiprop CEO Kevin Williams explains that the phase-one development will comprise a large and user-friendly taxi-rank, to be used as an important inter modal facility for people from areas such as Carletonville, Westonaria and Toekomsrus.
It is anticipated that the hub would assist with the general upliftment and renewal of the Randfontein CBD.
Williams revealed that the project has been made possible as a result of significant contribution from Gautrans, in a bid to provide safe and clean facilities for commuters, with connectivity between taxi and train.
“By giving people mobility, they will be able to contribute to local and provincial economic growth. Although the site seems barren now, in ten years time, a very different picture will be painted with the addition of this new hub,” says Williams.
The venture is a public private partnership between Gautrans, Taxiprop Development, the SARCC, Metrorail, and district and local municipalities in the area.
Covering about a hectare of land around the existing Randfontein train station, the development is being undertaken subject to a fifty-year lease.
Therefore, the State will retain ownership of the asset thereafter.
Delegates at yesterday’s event included district councillors, key stakeholders in the transport and roads industry and Siyakha architects, the firm responsible for creating the buildings’ blueprints.
Deteriorating surroundings, underdevelopment and lack of investment at the commuter hubs continues to affect the majority of public transport users, with 70% of the commuting public depending on rail, taxis and buses for economic and social recreation, says Gautrans.
Phase 2 of the project will incorporate retail facilities both formal and informal, motor industry related services, banking facilities, medical facilities, legal aid offices and education facilities.
Williams concluded the ceremony by referring to a quote from the late Minister of Transport Dullah Omar, “Mobility is vital to the integration of our society. For at every level, transport is the hub on which our nation thrives”.