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Assessing Just Public Transport Outcomes in the Gauteng City Region

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Geoff Bickford

06 October 2022

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung South Africa


uKESA Librarian 3

Research report

South Africa

Last year Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) commissioned an overview study of available information, complemented by stakeholder interviews, as part of their Just Cities programme - an initiative that responds to ‘Smart City’ narratives that foreground hi-tech and market-driven visions of urban development, without confronting widespread inequality or advancing social justice. Drawing on studies such as the latest Quality of Life Survey by the Gauteng City Region Observatory and the National Household Travel Survey by StatsSA, the research finds that the highly fragmented funding and oversight of public transport interventions have yielded little improvement in mobility for the poor majority. Public spending on public transport in Gauteng has not greatly improved use of or access to buses and trains or facilitated formalisation of the combi-taxi industry.


The FES advocates that public transport should be available as a public good, and the report argues that universally accessible, quality and safe public transport is not a ‘nice to have’ but has implications on the productive and reproductive spheres of our economy and lives. The recently announced Transport Authority of Gauteng should seek to advance just transport outcomes, informed by the detail of material realities. For example, households with higher income while spending more on transport use only half as much of their monthly income on transport as low-income households. And they spend far less time in transit. 


The report (available in PDF here) seeks to inform and stimulate engagement by and with stakeholders to advance just transport outcomes.


Abstract based on source.


Website References

Built environment



Human settlements

Poverty and inequality

Public transportation

Quality of life

Safety & security

Smart Cities

Smart cities

South Africa



Urban development

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