Public Transporters to use special lanes

GABORONE – Public transport operators in Gaborone and surrounding areas will have to wait a little longer to enjoy privileges that come with the recent designation of bus lanes within some city roads.
Recently, some internal city roads, especially those going towards the bus rank, have had their outer lanes marked as bus lanes.
However, according to the Botswana Integrated Transport Project (BITP) manager, Mr Mmoloki Baele, the new development does not confer any privileges on the taxi and bus industry yet.
β€œWe are doing that with anticipation that in the future, we will have bus lanes in Gaborone,” he said in an interview.
Mr Baele, whose portfolio covers the ongoing road infrastructure development in Gaborone, said the new markings on selected intersections were part of future projections.
He explained that among those selected, short road stretches between intersections had all been designated bus lanes, while for long road stretches, the lanes only appear when approaching an intersection.
Furthermore, he said there were currently no regulations guiding the use of bus lanes, adding that such would be done by relevant authorities.
Mr Baele said bus lanes were usually used by public transport operators as well as emergency service providers such as ambulances and the police.
The chairperson of Botswana Bus Operators Association, Mr Tirafalo Mponang said the designation of bus lanes was long overdue, adding, β€˜we have long been assured that this will happen, we have long expected this,” he said.
Mr Mponang said before the ongoing road infrastructure in Gaborone, there were extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders, which included public transport operators.
Therefore, he said the industry was thankful that what they were promised was taking shape, adding that it was one of the ways that could lure people to public transport.
In addition, he said the public transport industry was aware of the absence of regulations on usage of bus lanes, saying that should not overshadow the development. β€œThe regulations will come,” he said optimistically.
Further, Mr Mponang expressed excitement about the ongoing Gaborone road infrastructure facelift, as it would ease traffic in the city.
The new bus lanes markings form part of the ongoing Gaborone road intersections and layout improvements that targeted 129 intersections.
The other ongoing city developments include the construction of three interchanges at Btv, Rainbow and Game city roundabouts as well as upgrading of traffic lights.
The traffic lights will, among others, come with cameras and will be connected to a command control centre.

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