Rea Vaya offers three inter-connected levels of service!
The largest buses with a capacity of up to 112 passengers will be articulated and are referred to as the Trunk buses. These buses will only travel on the designated median lane trunk routes. They will only have doors on the right side of the bus with high level boarding, as they will only be picking passengers up from the Rea Vaya Stations on the trunk routes.
Complementary buses which will be able to pick up passengers at Rea Vaya stations on the trunk routes and will also be able to operate on the kerbside, will have a capacity of 75 passengers. These buses will have doors on the left side in order to pick up passengers from bus stops along the kerbside but will also have high level boarding doors on the right side for picking up passengers from Rea Vaya stations.
Feeder buses, which have a capacity of 32 passengers, will bring people from the outer areas which don't have direct access to the trunk routes. They will pick up passengers from the outer areas and take them to a main station located on the trunk route. In this way passengers will be able to access the main trunk route even if they do not live near a Rea Vaya station. This will extend Rea Vaya's network to areas far beyond the main trunk routes.
The look and feel for the Rea Vaya bus is in the process of being chosen through an extensive Public Participation campaign. The bus colours and style were voted for during Transport Month by communities of Johannesburg and City Councillors for their favorite design.
In the Phase 1 network, buses will run in exclusive, dedicated lanes in the centre of existing roads and will operate from about 150 stations, positioned half a kilometre apart. They will run every three minutes in peak times and every 10 minutes in off-peak times and it will be possible to catch a bus from 5am to midnight.
One of the most important aspects of this new system is that it will be fully integrated with other transport networks. Rea Vaya will not be competing with other transport systems such as the SARCC or the Gautrain. This is an urban transport network that will feed into and complement existing networks to ensure the most effective movement of people across the city.
An innovative design has been developed for the stations- indicated below, and these will be constructed off-site in a modular form. The opening of the first Rea Vaya prototype station will be taking place in Joubert Park in the Inner City on the 4th of November 2008.
The station design was put together through a comprehensive public participation process from many different stakeholders and interest groups. The prototype station will be tested in Joubert Park for ease of use and for those living with disabilities.
The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) is involved in the implementation of the electronic components of the project - like the fare system, the passenger information system and the global positioning system - together with the Rea Vaya Control Centre to be constructed in Martindale.
A terminal is a passenger facility just like a station but which will be found at the end of all the routes. Each route will have a final station called a terminal where the buses will be able to turn around and driver to change. Feeder services will link into the terminals in order for people to transfer from the outer areas to the main trunk services.
A depot is a large building which will be for bus and driver use only and passengers will not have access to these facilities. The depots will be the where maintenance of the buses occurs and where the buses are parked over night and washed before and after shifts. It will also provide a facility for drivers to rest and change shifts.
The following map indicates where the depots and terminals will be situated on the Rea Vaya system: