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Multi-million rand buses 'too big' for PE roads

Dozens of buses that were meant to have been operational since 2010 are still standing idle.

An engineer says several buses are still not in use in Port Elizabeth because they’re too large for the lanes they’re meant to drive in. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of buses that were meant to have been operational since the 2010 Soccer World Cup are still standing idle.

The fleet of 25 buses cost more than R100 million, while upgrades to the city's road infrastructure to accommodate them cost almost R2 billion.

An automotive expert says the reason the buses are still not in use is that they are simply too large for the lanes they are meant to drive in.

Automotive engineer Pierre Joubert says the Port Elizabeth integrated public transport system was flawed from the beginning.

He says the multi-billion rand system emulates Johannesburg's bus rapid transport system and Cape Town's MyCiti initiatives.

But Joubert says it's unfortunately not suitable for Port Elizabeth.

"Unloading passengers on the centre island was not a very good idea for Port Elizabeth and the doors are on the wrong side."

Joubert says during the trial phase in 2014, they caused major traffic problems.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has been unavailable for comment.