Original Research

The Johannesburg negotiated bus rapid transit contract: How has it benefitted the stakeholders?

Tatenda Mbara, Ben Maseko
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 14 | a506 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v14i0.506 | © 2020 Tatenda Mbara, Ben Maseko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2020 | Published: 17 September 2020

About the author(s)

Tatenda Mbara, Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Ben Maseko, Transport Department, City of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: In 2009 and 2013, the Transport Department, City of Johannesburg, negotiated with taxi operators and introduced the bus rapid transit (BRT) initiative on two routes. The protracted negotiations culminated into the displacement of approximately 900 minibuses on the two routes replaced by the BRT system. The mechanism used was to negotiate with the minibus taxi operators and compensate them for surrendering their vehicles that gave way for the BRT buses.

Objectives: The objective of this article is to ascertain how the City of Johannesburg, taxi operators and drivers benefitted from the implementation of the BRT system.

Method: A mixed-methods research paradigm was used. Quantitative data were collected from operators and drivers on how their skills and welfare have changed as a result of the implementation of the BRT initiative. Unstructured questionnaires were used to obtain qualitative data from the Transport Department, City of Johannesburg, and from nine taxi associations’ representatives.

Results: The results revealed that there were considerable benefits that accrued to the former taxi operators as well as drivers. Former minibus taxi operators and drivers’ welfare have improved. They have also gained knowledge and skills in operating the formal public transport system. The benefits were, however, at the expense of the City of Johannesburg.

Conclusion: Notwithstanding taxi operators’ reservations, their participation was beneficial. The study focused solely on the benefits to the key stakeholders of the negotiated contract without addressing costs that have contributed to those benefits. Future research needs to undertake a comprehensive study that addresses both costs and benefits to determine whether these benefits are not at the expense of exorbitant costs.


bus rapid transit; negotiated contract; stakeholders; service excellence; knowledge and skills; welfare; environment; management


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