On Wednesday 25 June 2014, JUCA held its Annual General Meeting. A new Management Committee for the next year was elected. They are:
Chairperson: David Du Preez
Vice-Chairperson: Muhammed Suleman
Secretary: Njogu Morgan
Treasurer: Gilles Baro
Member: Rehana Moosajee
Member: Grant Rex
Member: Olivier Leveque
Member: Mehita Iqani
We are all committed to working with public and private organisations to further the interests of commuter cycling in Johannesburg. Please feel free to contact us should you have any suggestions or ideas to contribute.
JUCA representatives recently met with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to explore and discuss the policy of allowing cyclists to put their bikes aboard trains in support of the Freedom Ride.
During the course of the conversation, JUCA representative also explored PRASA’s approach to allowing bicycle’s aboard trains. Given Joburg’s sprawl, many commuter cyclists might choose to cycle to their closest train station – say in Soweto, board the train with their bicycle to get into Johannesburg, and then cycle from their arrival station to their destination.
PRASA is responsible for the operation of a variety of public transport services in South Africa. PRASA describes its vision as follows:
• To facilitate integrating individuals and communities, enabling a better quality of life through access to socio-economic opportunities.
• To connect individuals and communities through the provision of public transport solutions that are founded on an integrated network of mobility routes.
JUCA believes that integrating commuter cycling with public transport options is a very important part of this mix. Intermodality between non-motorised transport and public transport is fundamental.
JUCA was very pleased to be informed by PRASA that they have no aversion to commuter cyclists bringing their bikes on trains for parts of their journeys. JUCA was also thrilled to hear that PRASA will be procuring a new class of trains from 2015 into the next twenty years. These new trains (pictured below) will have universal access, which will comfortably accommodate prams, wheelchairs and bicycles.
JUCA believes that is an extremely progressive move, which could have positive ramifications for commuter cyclists in Gauteng, which could encourage more commuters to consider mixing cycling and public transport as they move around the province on their day to day journeys. PRASA is also actively working to expand the train network in Gauteng, with feasibility studies completed for new routes in the Gauteng region and processes underway to request financing from National Treasury.
JUCA applauds these developments and appeals to PRASA to recognise that these developments will require more secure bicycle parking facilities to be made available at train and bus station around the city and country.
JUCA also notes its continued disappointment in the failure of Gautrain to engage in discussions about the possibility of commuters bringing bicycles on the Gautrain. The current regulations require cyclists to contain their bicycles inside a bag. This is a serious financial and logistical disincentive against using bicycles for the beginning and ends of travel. JUCA looks forward to a reconsideration of this policy.