A Comparative Study of Students' Experiences of Public Transport in Johannesburg and Berlin

Monakali, Maryam
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University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
This research report is an analysis of the main debates, arguments, and concepts pertaining to the topic of public transport and the experiences of students’ using public transportation in Johannesburg and Berlin. The purpose of a comparative study is to understand the manner in which public transport is experienced in different contexts, whilst the case study method will be used to narrow the subject area of public transport down through using students’ as the analytical lens. A semi-structured questionnaire was conducted on students’ at The University of the Witwatersrand. The questionnaire revealed that public transport in Johannesburg is not efficient, as it does not work to improve the experience and participation of students’ in this city. I argue that due to the paralysing system of apartheid, South Africa has been left with a dysfunctional administration system that lacks the capacity to actualise policy. With the use of the Berlin case study, I further argue that there are lessons to be learnt from the successful model of public transport systems in this city. These are two contradictory cases that reveal the importance of a combination of policies, financial means, capacity, and the built environment to establish a good public transport system that does more than just enable mobility. This body of research reveals that efficient public transport makes it possible for everyone in the city to contribute to its vitality, making it one of the most important tools of integration between the urban and the people. This recognises that there is a need for transport planning and urban planning, as two spatial tools, to be used in conjunction in the planning of cities that are inclusive for all students’ and urban dwellers.
Planning Honours Report 2015, Wits University
public transport, students, Berlin, Johannesburg, experiences, efficiency, policies, institutional capacity, urban integration, spatial planning
Monakali, M (2015). A Comparative Study of Students' Experiences of Public Transport in Johannesburg and Berlin, Johannesburg