Past and present travel patterns in the Gauteng City-Region

Type Report
Title Past and present travel patterns in the Gauteng City-Region
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Transportation infrastructure, in the region, has been moulded to a large degree by the
history of the dominant cities found in the region. That said, the provision of
infrastructure is crucial to the further economic development of Gauteng, especially in
the face of a massive rise in the population of the province, thus, it is critical to
understand the effects the current infrastructure has on travel patterns and travel times.
Unfortunately, the old - and the new - political regimes of the region, used the ‘predict
and provide’ model of transportation design, which has the effect of enhancing road
infrastructure, and thereby strengthening road transport (vehicles and trucks) above
other forms of transport, rail in particular. Although investment in buses too, has been
neglected, despite their dominance in the public transport sector. In this regard, the
report recommends that future focus should rather be on travel demand management.
The report focuses on two main research areas: (1) An analysis of the long term
transportation trends by comparing four transport studies, the 1975 PWV Survey; the
1985 PWV survey; the 2000 Gauteng Transport Study and the 2003 National
Household Travel Survey and (2) Analysis of the results of the 2009 Quality of Life
study undertaken by the GCRO. The 1975 and 1985 surveys were racially skewed and
so some degree of apprehension must be used when interpreting the results. With
regards to the 2009 QoL study, there are limitations to it, as it was not specifically
designed as a transport survey. The 2009 QoL survey also has data capturing errors.
Demographic skewness is marked, in terms of race, age and education levels. That
said, there is a strong corroboration between all five surveys.
This report shows that, systematically there has been an increase in private vehicle
ownership and automobile dependence over time. Initially this was confined to the white
population, but post 1994 there has been a steady increase across all races, as
incomes rise, although car ownership, is still strongly racially based. This report also
shows the rise of the ‘quasi public’ transportation system of minibus taxis, especially
post 2000. To that end, the minibus taxi industry represents a type of outsourcing of
public transport provision, as there has been a clear shift away from trains and buses to
minibus taxis. Thus, a clear long term trend is the massive under-provision of an
effective, efficient and low cost public transport system, the most glaring poor
investment being in rail, with none in light rail at all.

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