In a recently issued request for proposals (RFP), the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) signaled its continued support for cycling, walking, and public transportation.
The RFP broadly seeks to understand how the GMA can improve public and active transportation options to the high speed train stations. We welcome this. In particular we are pleased to see an intent to explore the feasibility of a public bicycle sharing system at one of the train stations in Pretoria. Such a scheme we believe would certainly lower some barriers to bicycling and send a positive public signal about utility cycling.
Given the apartheid spatial legacy which contains to present long travel distances, we have always seen part of the solution to supporting everyday cycling in Johannesburg and rest of the country as twining it with public transport. In effect weaving together cycling and buses, trains, taxis into one system. We are glad the GMA is taking a positive step in this direction.
This also means allowing and enabling bicycle users should they choose, to take their bicycles aboard buses and trains. The GMA and many other public transport operators are yet to take this step. We would like to see other public transport agencies following suit and seeking full integration. We would like to see this in the future even on a trial basis to foreshadow wider roll-out.