Mixed reactions on day one of #EcoMobility month

Many commuters heeded the call to use alternative modes of transport for the month of October.

Thousands of people took part in the official opening of the EcoMobility in Sandton on 4 October 2015. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi says he understands there's been a level of "discomfort" at the start of the EcoMobility Festival but says this is needed in order to provoke a change in behaviour.

Certain roads have been closed off in Sandton and there are dedicated public transport lanes, with commuters being urged to abandon their vehicles and make use of walkways and bicycle lanes instead.

It's aimed at reducing congestion during peak hours.

Many commuters heeded the call to this morning to use alternative modes of transport for the month of October.

Gauteng transport MEC says there have been mixed views.

"The feedback we've received from the City of Joburg is that generally the systems are running and there is a degree of discomfort."

However, he says commuters will adjust in the next few days.

"People are adjusting, they might not be familiar with public transport so given a day or two for the adjustment. I think it's running well at the moment."

The city says the first day exceeded expectations.

WATCH: EWN takes you through the streets of Sandton to help you understand how the campaign will affect you.


Many have abandoned their cars and put on their running shoes and are making their way to the buses and to the Gautrain.

One man has passed cyclists on his Segway along the dedicated lanes.

While traffic on Maude Street seems to be free flowing West Street is bumper to bumper with two motorists beeping at a bus full of passengers which is trying to make its way out the jam.

There are also EcoMobility officials on standby at the major intersections with a very strong metro police presence.

WATCH: Erratic start to the EcoMobility festival.


At the same time, some Sandton commuters say they are battling the current heat wave to walk home from work today as part of the EcoMobility festival.

Many have put on their running shoes and are making their way down West Street towards the Gautrain station beside bumper to bumper traffic.

While there were a few signage glitches in the system during peak hour traffic this morning the transport department says it's ready for more people to abandon their cars.

Some commuters say they chose walking over driving today and they have enjoyed the trip more on foot.

"As long as they keep it up and it's well controlled then it's fine."

"It was my first day as I normally drive but the vibe is good and I enjoyed it."