‘EcoMobility has proven commuters can avoid private cars’

Dedicated public transport and bicycle lanes were introduced to encourage people to abandon their cars.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The City of Johannesburg says EcoMobility month has proven that commuters can avoid using private vehicles and therefore ease traffic congestion.

The festival, which is taking place in Sandton, is coming to an end tomorrow.

Dedicated public transport and bicycle lanes, along with walkways, were introduced to encourage people to abandon their cars.

The city says there has been a significant change in the way commuters move around Sandton.

It says people using private cars in Sandton decreased from 90 percent to 68 percent, Gautrain use increased by about eight percent, people used park and ride facilities and the number of cyclists increased slightly.

The city's Lisa Seftel says the festival was about learning what will work in future.

"It is possible in Sandton to have a more equitable division of the road space which can be shared more equally between private cars, walking and cycling and public transport."

But some commuters say traffic didn't decrease.

"We are still experiencing too much traffic… It has created a lot more congestion… Getting home is a problem."

Construction work will be starting in Sandton soon to convert temporary public transport lanes into permanent ones and some malls will continue with park and ride sites.

LISTEN: What did the EcoMobility Festival achieve?