Bloemfontein’s new multi-storey taxi rank complex is scheduled to open at the end of April, two years after construction began.
Work on the centre started in April 2009, shortly before the beginning of the Confederations Cup. The complex that the Mangaung municipality is developing in the Bloemfontein CBD will replace an earlier rank that had become an eyesore.
A liaison officer at the site, John Vuntu, said construction was about 90% done. The lower level was complete with most of the outstanding work being on the upper level.
“We have encountered some few challenges like the delay as a result of the rain, but other than that construction has been running smoothly,” he said. “The new rank will include offices, chain stores, restaurants and a bus station.
“Commuters will not have to travel to places like the tourism centre to board buses, everything will be right here under their noses.”
The New Age spoke to a few commuters who could not hide their excitement.
“I’m happy we don’t have to catch a taxi far away from the rank; this has inconvenienced us in a big way,” said Kelebogile Rantho, who commutes between Phahameng township and the CBD on weekdays.
Another commuter, Tlhatlhogo Seate, said: “I don’t have to go to these shady places any more and queue for a long time, I’m excited. We have struggled for the past two years because we travel extra kilometres to board a taxi but with the opening of the rank we are very happy.”
Even taxi drivers, such as Mathews Mokoena, are pleased: “We have been struggling with this whole arrangement of picking up commuters in small spots around the city; now that the taxi rank is going to be finished our work will be much easier and smoother.”
Source: The New Age