The eThekwini Municipality has officially launched the country’s first mini-bus taxi incentive programme.

The programme forms part of the municipality’s drive to transform public transport in the City through the construction of road infrastructure geared towards integrating public transport into a network which consists of  eight bus rapid transit lanes and a rail route across the City in its GO!Durban programme.

As part of the programme eThekwini leadership has been engaging with the leadership of the mini-bus taxi and bus industry in an endeavour to bring these current public transport operators into a cohesive operation to provide safe, efficient and reliable transport for all.

A stake in public transport transformation

“The aim has always been to ensure that they continue to have a stake in public transport into its transformation,” the City notes.

The pilot programme includes 500 mini-bus taxis that will be branded as “Moja Cruise” taxis, with 150 taxis already enrolled in the programme.

These taxis will adhere to certain criteria to offer a clean, safe, efficient, customer-oriented service to the public. The vehicles will be monitored to ensure that these criteria are met in order to qualify for the financial incentive.

Empowering the mini-bus taxi industry

Speaking at the “go live” launch, Mondli Mthembu, chairperson for the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee, said that the aim of the programme was to proactively empower the mini-bus taxi industry at all levels, to progress their businesses.

“The programme aims to support the development of the industry towards a more formal and scheduled service structure aimed at providing better levels of services and safety to commuters and improving overall public transport in the City,” Mthembu, noted.