A Proposed System-Based Subsidy Approach for Integrated Public Transport in South African Metropolitan Areas
Thesis (MComm (Logistics))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The current subsidy system, designed to make South Africa’s public transport more affordable, has instead contributed to a worsening of the existent neglected state of affairs. Although subsidy policies are in place, misdirected allocation renders them mostly ineffective. The implementation of the new integrated public transport systems for metropolitan areas affords an opportunity to adopt a broad spectrum approach and initiate a redesigned and improved subsidy system. The purpose of this study is to assess the South African urban public transport industry with the aim of finding by means of a system-based process a subsidy approach that will overcome the remaining inequalities of the past. This study will consequently evaluate different subsidy theories and determine which one(s) will be best suited to the demands of a specific period. The final objective is to design a product which offers government a systembased process that will help it determine, every few years, whether the subsidy regime being applied at that juncture is still relevant to the requirements of the market and/or what (new) approach is necessary to achieve social and economic wellbeing. Commuter transport in South Africa is currently in a transition phase where new public transport infrastructure is being implemented in the metropolitan cities. The current economic recession (making people’s demand more elastic to prices) present a good time to conduct the system-based process necessary for transition of the public transport system and determine an optimal subsidy approach for the new system. The first step in the system-based process was to determine the scope of work and the overall objectives that should be reached. The main public transport shortcomings are the lack of accessibility to affordable transport for the poor and increasing private transport ownership by the rich, which increases congestion and forms the second step of the systembased process. The third step stated the action plan of strategies on how the objectives could be reached. These three steps also form the basic measurement criteria against which the different subsidy approaches needed to be tested. The fourth step in the system-based process to a better subsidy approach was to evaluate different theoretical subsidy approaches. The review of different subsidy approaches has indicated that some approaches work better than others, but an optimal subsidy system is almost never found.