Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are being promoted in South Africa and elsewhere as a potentially effective way of delivering greatly improved public transport services to marginalised urban communities and thereby reducing exclusion-related poverty. This paper provides an early assessment of the actual poverty impacts of the Rea Vaya BRT in Johannesburg, using data from a small-sample household survey conducted for this purpose in Soweto. The data suggest that the main benefits of the first phase BRT lie in its enhancement of access to a variety of activities, rather than its direct expansion of accessibility to work opportunities. Both time and cost savings are substantive, in the region of 10 to 20% compared to previous levels, but these benefits accrue largely to medium-income households rather than to the poorest commuters in the area. Rea Vaya also makes a modest contribution to community satisfaction with transport and living conditions in general, which might augur well for improving social cohesion and for leveraging further investment in the area. Although it is too early to draw any long-term conclusions, the key findings suggest that more specific targeting is needed for the BRT to deliver significant poverty reduction benefits.
This paper was transferred from the original CD ROM created for this conference. The material was published using Adobe Acrobat 10.1.0 Technology.
The original CD ROM was produced by Document Transformation Technologies Postal Address: PO Box 560 Irene 0062 South Africa. Tel.: +27 12 667 2074 Fax: +27 12 667 2766 E-mail: nigel@doctech URL: http://www.doctech.co.za