With only a day left to the FIFA World Cup, host cities around the country are gearing to provide efficient transport services to soccer fans attending matches at stadiums and FIFA Fan Fests, The Local Organising Committee (LOC), together with the host cities has used Bafana Bafana’s World Cup preparation matches to test the Park and Ride initiatives ahead of the showpiece.
Major routes to the stadiums, airports and hotels have been expanded; while rail stations such as Nasrec, adjacent to Soccer City, have been refurbished.
Efficient rail services in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany made travel easy for soccer fans to and from stadiums.
Here is a quick guide on how you can get to stadiums:
The Gautrain, which will ferry passengers from the OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, began operations this morning.
The City of Johannesburg has moved swiftly to ensure that fans get to match venues and fan fests without delay by developing a comprehensive transport plan for the World Cup.
Thousands of soccer fans who will watch the 15 matches at Soccer City, Coca-Cola Park or on giant screens at fan fests will be using the Park and Ride initiatives. The Park and Ride is a parking facility where fans can park their vehicles and be shuttled to the stadiums by scheduled shuttle services which will be a combination of buses and taxis.
There will be designated areas for the park and ride and park and walk in Johannesburg that will be available to soccer fans to catch the shuttle service to the match venues.
Traffic exclusion zones adjacent to the stadiums which will not allow private vehicles to park close to stadiums will also be operational.
Executive Director for the City's 2010 office, Sibongile Mazibuko, says fans who want to access the Park and Ride facility, will need to book parking spaces for their vehicles by buying transport tickets.
The cost for a car is R50, Minibus taxi or similar 15, 18 and 24 seater is R100, while 35 to 40 seater buses will pay R500 and the 64 seater buses will pay R700.
Fans who will watch matches at Coca-Cola Park and Soccer City will use the Park and Ride at Bez Valley in Marcia street, Observatory; Constitutional Hill 2 Queens Street, Braampark, Enoch Sontonga Avenue, Empire Road (Wits Campus) and Data Crescent in Gold Reef.
Mazibuko says at the Westgate Transport Hub, fans will catch buses from Lanseria, OR Tambo International Airport, Sandton, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Polokwane, Rustenburg or Nelspruit to take them to Westgate station on match days.
Those watching matches at Coca-Cola Park can also catch trains at Vereeniging, Naledi, Leralla, Daveyton, Katlehong, Springs and Randfonteing.
In Tshwane, fans can catch trains at Dewilt, Saulsville, Mabopane and Pienaarspoort stations.
Metro buses will run on match days from the Sandton Transport hub to Westgate Transport hub and these buses will run every ten minutes. However, these services will not be provided free of charge. There are three fare options which are R20 one way to Westgate Transport Hub, R40 return from Westgate Transport Hub and R50 return to the Westgate Transport Hub and this includes the Rea Vaya bus tickets.
Rail services will be available to Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium. A park and ride system will be implemented from various sites within the city. The city has identified an area in one of the park and ride sites which will accommodate long distance bus services on match days.
Partial bus service will also be implemented.
Tickets can be purchased cash on the buses. On match days, the buses will start operating at 9:30am if kick-off is at 4:00 pm.
In Durban, a commuter rail system will transport supporters close to the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct.
A network of park and walk sites has been implemented, including the beachfront area where supporters will be able to leave their cars and walk to the stadium along a pedestrian walkway network.
The park and ride facility will include parking sites and three shopping centres at Gateway in Umhlanga Ridge, Pavillion in Westville and Galleria at Amanzimtoti, where they will feed the stadium through shuttles.
Central to the plan are the bright yellow signs erected around the city to direct spectators between the stadium, FIFA Fan Fests [Durban's official fan park on the Golden Mile] and the major transport facilities.
Deputy Head for eThekwini Transport Authority, Carlos Esteves says the pedestrian plan is being implemented in and around Durban to encourage visitors and residents to walk through the nine designated pedestrian routes, chosen with a view to linking the central transport hub.
“Visible and ample policing, upgraded lighting and infrastructure and clear, colour-coded signage will all be very much a part of the new pedestrian plan surrounding the world cup. We will take pedestrians past the many attractions which can be found along the way,” Esteves says.
Transport plans to Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium include commuter rail, park and ride services, and airport shuttle from Cape Town International to the stadium as well as the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT).
Twenty two of the city’s rail stations will function as park and rides ferry fans to the stadium and back again on match days.
The city has also developed a long distance transport hub and services to the FIFA Fan Fest, public viewing areas will be provided by existing public transport.
Nelson Mandela Bay
In addition to the normal public transport available in the Nelson Mandela Bay, fans will be provided with other services including special shuttle services between key destinations including the airport, stadium, beachfront accommodation, intercity transport hub at Kings Beach, fan fest and park 'n ride locations.
These services are specifically designed to cater for spectators at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium and at the Fan Fest at St George's Park.
Approximately 60 buses and 160 minibus taxis will be sourced from the local public transport industry. For clear identification, they will be specially branded as 2010 services.
On match days, stadium services will operate six hours before kick-off to four hours after games end. These services to the stadium will be provided from the airport, Kings Beach transport hub, beachfront accommodation, and the park 'n rides at the fan fest and Andrew Rabie School.
Ten specially adapted vehicles will cater for people with special needs; wheelchair ramps will be provided at each transport site.
Special park and ride facilities will also be provided at Kings Beach and St George's Park, where ticket holders can park their vehicles and be ferried by public transport vehicles to the stadium.
The Bloemfontein Station is a key public transport and long distance rail will terminate at the station.
Long distance bus travel will be accommodated in the CBD close to the Bloemfontein Stadium to allow supporters to walk to the match and park and ride sites will be located in two sites in the city.
Schools in the vicinity of the stadium will accommodate park and walk facilities.
In Nelspruit, buses will transport supporters from park and ride sites in the city to the Mbombela stadium. Shuttles will also be supplied from the main transport hub in the city centre and existing public transport will transport supporters from the greater Nelspruit areas such as Whiteriver and Barberton.
Park and ride facilities will also be placed on the outskirts of the city to deal with the large influx of fans.
Polokwane has designed a park and ride system that will transport supporters from various sites in the city to both the stadium and the fan mile which is within walking distance of the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The Fan Fest, which is close to the stadium, will also be serviced by this system while, existing public transport will transport supporters from the city’s residential areas to the city centre.
The park and ride systems in Rustenburg will be used as a combination of contracted bus and taxi services.
The airport will be the main air hub for the city and intercity transfers will transport fans between Johannesburg and Rustenburg.
The city has also made provision for a long distance bus service to the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, where supporters will be able to arrive and walk to their seats. - Nthambeleni Gabara and Gabi Khumalo, BuaNews
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