Sunday, October 4, 2009

Transportation in Johannesburg

If you like a challenge, hit Johannesburg, South Africa. Public transportation is really hard to come by and is said to be not the safest.There are private taxis of which i did not use, they are very expensive and I am told that its better to be with a crowd than to be alone. There are the mini taxi buses with I found to be quite cheep and very easy to pick up once I asked around.
There is an etiquette to the mini taxi bus. You can stand just about anywhere and point your finger in the direction you are going and if there is room, they will stop. Once you get in the mini bus, depending on where you sit would depend on how you pay. There are four rows in the mini bus. You pass your money to the front and you say what row you are in. If you sit next to the driver, you get the privilege to collect the money and pass out change. The cost is usually about R9, which is about $1.25.
Also, if you sit near a door, you are the one that needs to get out and let people on or off.
Traveling long distance with a bus company is comfortable and a great way to see South Africa.
There are several companies which include Greyhound and Intercape. I used Intercape to get from Jo'burg to Durban. My couch surfing host actually arranged for the bus to stop just outside of Durban so I can attend a couch surfer dinner so I could meet some locals.
It was a 6 hour bus ride and was very pleasant. They stop at truck stops so you can get food and stretch your legs. The cost was R210 and both lines offer a student discount ( i always bring my student id, even if I am not enrolled), so it cost me R199 which is about $20.
The highlight of my bus trip,I got to sit up with the drive for a bit :)

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