n Journal for Contemporary History - Challenges facing the transformation of the public transport system in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa : history in the making




The transformation of the public transport system is a common occurrence in cities across the globe and is widely discussed in scholarly and policy circles. However, robust discussion on the transformation of the public transport system, using the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in emerging economies like South Africa, is limited. This article assesses the challenges involved in the transformation of the public road transport system in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB), with special reference to the BRT system. The empirical data for the study were drawn from the fieldwork, meetings, focus group discussions, and interviews with affected stakeholders and senior managers of NMB who were involved in the implementation of the BRT. The secondary data were drawn from literature, government publications and media. The results reflect that the implementation of the BRT was not easily achieved, as diverse challenges surfaced during the implementation phase. The main challenges include: lack of intensive planning and limited effective stakeholder and affected community engagement. The article concludes that as much as the BRT has credited the public road transportation system innovation in South Africa its implementation was not easy in NMB, and will be an important history for the city.


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