Johannesburg launches new buses in World Cup build up

 South Africa rolled out out a new rapid bus
network Sunday in its largest city Johannesburg
ahead of next year's Football World Cup,
seeking to shore up its image as a safe destination.

The gleaming red and blue Bus Rapid

Transit (BRT) stations finished in steel and glass

already dot the city and the red and blue buses

are a far cry from the dilapidated mini-buses

that are known for deadly accidents.

"I am looking forward to the system at least

it is safe.

When you take a taxi (mini bus) you never know

if you will reach your destination alive,"

said Teresa Chalatsi from Johannesburg's

famed Soweto township after her first ride.

"This is much faster, cheaper and reliable,

I will be using it from now on."

The BRT service was launched in downtown

Johannesburg despite fierce opposition

from private mini-bus operators,

who had threatened violent protests.

"I was scared at first to come here because

were told by ...

there will be violence but I saw other people

come so I joined.

This is going to save me a lot of money

because I spend more than half of my salary

on transport," Maria Sebegoe a maid, said.

A bus ride from Soweto to central Johannesburg

costs only three rand (.38 dollars/.27 euros)

in the rapid bus system,

a third lower than the rate in private minibuses.

The coaches can carry up to 90 people,

stopping at stations half a kilometre apart.

Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said

the BRT was "a victory for the transport industry,

the people of South Africa and

the 2010 FIFA World Cup".

The launch for months to ease concerns

of mini-bus operators, who are known

for bloody turf wars and who had threatened

to stage protests to bring Johannesburg

to a grinding halt.

South Africa has one of the world's highest

crime rates and is struggling to clean up its

record before hosting the Football World Cup next year

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  2. @ reh1978

    I guess, I'll get a discount for publishing it uh?!