Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Mobility in the Gauteng City-Region
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://mobile.wiredspace.wits.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10539/17321/FINAL Mobility report JULY 28 2014​for web B.pdf?sequence=2
Abstract
A key factor in understanding a functional city-region is the daily flows of people between its constituent parts. The Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), for example, regards the commuter field as a key criterion for defining
the extent of a metro-region (OECD, 2011). Traffic flow is also an important urban efficiency concern, as congestion impacts the
costs of doing business, which in turn affects regional competitiveness. Congestion is furthermore a key social issue, as long
commutes on poorly maintained transit infrastructure affect the quality of life of residents. Transport affordability and access
are critical development concerns: high day-to-day costs of travel, the unavailability of public transport in many peripheral
areas, and poor home-to-work connections because of badly defined routes and weak intermodal integration all impact severely
on the poor, especially in a sprawling city-region where poverty and spatial dislocation are often synonymous. In addition,
transport can be a major driver of environmental problems such as air pollution and climate change if road-based modes lead
to high carbon emissions. Alternatively, transport can lead to greater urban sustainability if, for example, a city’s metabolic
rate of liquid fuel consumption can be reduced though measures that reduce car-based travel. Lastly, transport infrastructure,
especially that developed for public transport, can have important symbolic and cultural effects, either working productively to
bring people together in shared public space, or negatively to further entrench societal divisions.
For all of these reasons it is important to delineate the existing flows of traffic across the Gauteng City-Region (GCR); to
understand the challenges of transport efficiency, access and affordability; and to gauge the impact of key transport interventions
like the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme and associated e-tolling, and municipal Bus
Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure.
This report on Mobility in the Gauteng City-Region has been written in a remarkable moment in the history of transport
development in Gauteng. On the one hand the region appears to be in a new ‘golden era’ of transit infrastructure design
and investment, as well as long-term planning for ever-growing commuter transport needs. On the other hand, the transport
difficulties faced by the GCR’s fast-growing population, as well as the many spatial, social, economic and environmental
challenges that flow from the region-wide architecture of this population’s daily commuting, appear to be growing ever more
acute.

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