February 02, 2011

Johannesburg Taxi Operators Investment Companies take over Rea Vaya bus operations

Welcome to PioTrans!

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Rea Vaya has reached another milestone. On Tuesday, 1 February the Taxi Operators Investment Companies formally took control of the Rea Vaya’s Bus Operating Company.

Since 2007, the Taxi Industry has been extensively engaged in the planning and implementation of the Rea Vaya project by the City of Johannesburg. Since its opening in 2009, the City and taxi operators from nine Taxi Associations in Soweto have been involved in commercial and business negotiations in preparation for the taxi association’s takeover of the Rea Vaya bus operations. As of February 1, the nine Taxi Operators Investment Companies owned by over 300 taxi operators are in charge of the Rea Vaya Bus Operating Company and commencing the 12-year bus operating contract.

The new name of the company will be PioTrans (Pty) Ltd, echoing the pioneering steps of the taxi operators who have grown into a fully-fledged public transport operator as part of the public transport transformation process in the City and South Africa.

The Board would like to thank the former CEO of Clidet, Ms. J Huntley, and Mr. Andre van Niekerk, the former General Manager, for their interim management roles in the first Rea Vaya Bus Operating Company and express a great appreciation for their efforts in making sure that the initial BRT service provided great service to commuters.

The new Board of Directors, chaired by Mr. Sicelo Mabaso, includes thirteen taxi operators as non-Executive Directors representing their Taxi Investment companies, and three Executive Directors appointed into the top management positions in the company. The executive appointments include Mr. Victor Cordoba, as new CEO of Clidet (future PioTrans) from Fanalca South Africa, management and business partner of Taxi Companies, Mr. Dumisani Mntambo, as the Deputy CEO and Mr. Eric Motshwane as Director of Corporate Affairs.

The new CEO of the company comes from Fanalca South Africa, a local subsidiary of one of the largest and most successful BRT bus operating companies in South America.  After extensive deliberations, the taxi industry felt that to succeed in operating the first BRT bus company in South Africa, a partnership with an experienced international company in the BRT operations is essential. The Board of Clidet and Taxi companies are confident that the expertise and experience of Fanalca will provide great opportunities for local skills development in the public transport management and operations sector and are collectively committed to achieve major progress in this regard.

Fanalca was founded in 1958. Its headquarters are in the city of Cali in Colombia. It is one of the more important industrial groups in Colombia with activities in, amongst others, the Industrial, Automotive, Waste Collection, Water Treatment and Distribution, Motorcycles and Public Transport sectors. With regard to the BRT and other Public Transport operations, Fanalca operates successfully in systems like Transmilenio (Bogotá), Transantiago (Chile), Metrobus (Panamá), MIO (Cali), MetroSinú (Montería), SITP (Bogotá) managing the operations of more than 5.000 buses.

For a very long time, the taxi operators have had challenges partnering with the Government in various business and transformation initiatives. For the last four years whilst engaging the City and other spheres of Government in the BRT transformation initiative, we have managed and learned to resolve the most challenging situations through dialogue and perseverance.

For that, the taxi operators wish to state that they are most grateful to the City of Joburg leadership, Honorable Mayor Cllr. A Masondo, all members of the Mayoral Committee and more specifically the MMC for Transport Mrs. R Moosajee and Executive Director for Transport, Ms. L Seftel. They have played a crucial role in achieving this major milestone in the public transport transformation agenda. There are many other people who assisted in this process and they would like to thank them all.

Lastly, the taxi operators are highly committed to provide the world-class service to our commuters and assist in their transport needs and requirements.

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