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Investment is needed to improve Johannesburg’s public transport system, including updating and expanding its rail and bus network.
With most Johannesburg residents only taking an average of 28 trips by public transport per year, the city will need to invest in network infrastructure. Signaling technology is one area in which Johannesburg can use a targeted investment to increase trip frequency across the entire network. Siemens is currently upgrading the rail signaling system in Gauteng province with advanced track systems that are designed to reduce the interval between trains from 15 minutes to around 2.5 minutes. This will allow each line to carry more trains and their passengers. The Gauteng signaling project will lay the foundations for automatic train protection and semi-automatic train operations in the future. Automated signaling will reduce delays and minimize the risk of accidents by making systems less susceptible to human error.
Automated signaling will reduce delays and minimize the risk of accidents by making systems less susceptible to human error.
Better system-wide monitoring is also enabling expansion of the rail and bus network. The Gauteng Nerve Centre completed by Siemens in 2015 is a new 3,400m2 control center for rail traffic management, which constantly monitors each and every one of the over 600 trains in operation. These trains carry up to 500,000 passengers every day, and can immediately respond to any operating failures, accidents, and other incidents. Building on this solid foundation, the state-owned rail operator PRASA is investing heavily in rail, while the municipality of Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg, recently launched a nerve center for their Bus Rapid Transit system.