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Rea Vaya BRT



Johannesburg & Soweto, Gauteng, South Africa


2006 - 2010  


City of Joburg  

Project Value

ZAR 2 Billion 


Ikemeleng Architects 

Bus Rapid Transit is a world class transport system being used in developing countries very similar to South Africa, to combat congestion and provide better public transport. The Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) is designed to provide a high quality and affordable transport system, which is fast and safe. 

Rea Vaya BRT comprises of a middle lane for large, high tech buses which will transport passengers comfortably and quickly around Johannesburg using specific designated routes, enclosed bus stations along the routes and a high tech control centre to ensure the Rea Vaya experience is a world class one. 

There was a great deal of excitement in the air as the first Rea Vaya Station was launched alongside Joubert Park on 04 November 2007. Lots of hard work and enthusiasm from many different people have resulted in a beautiful prototype station. 

The Executive Mayor, Councillor Amos Masondo, officially opened the BRT prototype station alongside Joubert Park, saying “Today is a historic day for public transportation in Johannesburg. With the opening of this prototype station we are witnessing the first visible milestone in the BRT system. It is a system that will revolutionize public transport in and around Johannesburg and will bring fast, efficient, secure, affordable and environmentally friendly transport to the people of our City.“ 

The Rea Vaya Bus BRT system is the largest climate change project the City of Johannesburg has ever undertaken. 

The council will operate two kinds of buses - articulated trunk buses (carrying 112 passengers), which will run on exclusive lanes, and complementary buses (carrying 82 passengers), which will run either in the middle dedicated lane where the route already exists or on normal traffic roads like Metrobus. 

Rea Vaya is being rolled out in three phases, Phase 1A, which will run from Soweto via the Soccer City stadium and two loops in the CBD and then to the Ellis Park Stadium. 

Phase 1B, which will include a route from the City Centre via Parktown, Rosebank and Sandton, is expected to be completed ahead of the World Cup. 

The complete system, which will have extra routes, including ones to Randburg and Alexandra, will be completed by 2013. Its security measures will include an extensive closed circuit television camera network monitored at a control centre and a rapid response team on standby for any incidents. 

Taxis will still be needed to supply passengers to the BRT networks, Taxi owners in the BRT routes will become majority owners in companies that will be contracted by the council to run the new service. 

Buses will be able to load passengers within 30 to 40 seconds at every station. During peak hours, buses will pick up passengers at stations every three minutes, while during off-peak hours, buses will arrive at stations at maximum intervals of 20 minutes.

Park Station Shopping


Gautrain Rapid Rail Link – Principles For Station Precinct Development 

  • Transport precincts should be characterised by intense and high density mixed use including the provision of public services, recreational and cultural activities, mixed-income residential, retail and other relevant economic activity. 

  • Transport precincts should facilitate integration between modes of transport and that equitable levels of service are offered by different modes thus contributing to the promotion of public transport as the mode of choice in Gauteng. 

  • Transport precincts should be designed and managed in ways, which promote sustainable development including economic viability and the protection of our cultural heritage. 

  • Transport precincts should be conceptualized and planned in ways in which the public sector contribution can leverage and sustain maximum private sector investment. 

  • Transport precincts should be planned to be constructed in a way that they can be adaptable, developed incrementally and/or evolve over time. 


Implement safe pedestrian routes separated from busy traffic Design uncluttered “walkable” pavements. 


The amount of pedestrians using some of the sidewalks around Park Station greatly exceeds the capacity they were originally designed for. This results in an overspill of pedestrians into vehicle lanes with the attendant road safety problems. Frontservicing of shops by service vehicles seriously hampers onward pedestrian movement. Even the removal of street traders from these narrow sidewalks is not enough to solve the problem. 


There are several proposals to alleviate the current problems: 

  • Separate the major pedestrian routes from busy traffic routes: 
    - Noord Street – east / west intermodal pedestrian connection. 
    - Joubert Street north/south Park Station Concourse ‘feeder’. 
    - Small Street pedestrian concourse. 

  • Widened pavements brought out by the removal of street parking and a restricted informal trading zone: 
    - Jeppe Street. 
    - Bree Street. 

  • ITSC to have dedicated vehicle access for taxis and buses, removed from busy pedestrian sidewalks. 

  • ITSC to have dedicated loading for goods within the site that does not conflict with pedestrian movements. 

  • Implementation of ‘Trolley’ routes for shoppers to transport goods from the City Shops to the ITSC transport facility. This will require ramped pavements at street corners. 


Johannesburg, Gauteng,

South Africa 

Park Station Rail



Johannesburg, Gauteng,

South Africa 

The Rationale (underpinning the project) 

The development of commercial buildings in the vicinity of Transport Interchanges and above railway tracks is a model with a significant track record in many urban locations around the world. These built developments are referred to as Transit Orientated Developments (TOD’s). 


Transport Interchanges are locations where passengers interchange between modes, and these often result in locations with high levels of passenger numbers and footfall. It is upon these significant passenger volumes that commercial and retail developments depend upon. The success of any TOD’s are dependant upon a good Transport Interchange. 

Further, when available space is at a premium around the Transport Interchange, the areas above railway tracks consequently become an economic option for the development itself. 

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