EcoMobility fest off to a bumpy start

The EcoMobility World Festival got off to a frustrating start for some commuters as they scrambled to get tickets at the Gautrain station in the Joburg CBD on Monday morning.

Many of them grew increasingly frustrated over the long queues, which would make them late for work.

This was part of the City of Johannesburg’s month-long initiative to get people to use public transport in order to ease congestion on roads.

Among those caught in the chaos was Chandra Fourie, who said it was the first time she had used the Gautrain.

“I didn’t expect the lines to be so long and now I’m going to be late for work,” she said.

Despite the early morning chaos, there were few teething problems with the initiative, with most people either walking, cycling or taking buses and trains to work.

Throughout this month, traffic on Sandton streets will be restricted as the business hub has become notorious for congestion.

With commuters having been urged to desist from entering the area in private cars, the Sandton Gautrain station was also abuzz with commuters.

The numerous walkways around Sandton attracted a reasonable amount of pedestrians, with many enjoying the morning stroll.

One was Lumka Dlamini, who swapped her heels for sneakers as she walked from the Gautrain station to her office in West street.

“It’s quite nice to get a bit of morning sunlight and some exercise. I like the idea of the initiative but I wouldn’t want to do this to every day,” she says.

Those who did not heed the call to leave their cars at home, struggled to make their way around.

However, the initiative seemed to work as traffic was flowing and not as congested as it usually is.

By Karishma Dipa for IOL

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