The City of Johannesburg (CoJ) on June 3 said the 50 000 m² Johannesburg International Transport Interchange (JITI) had reached practical completion and would launch at the end of the month.

The international long-distance and cross-border transport hub is located in the city’s central business district.

The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), on behalf of the City’s Transport Department, has been undertaking the construction of the JITI.

The high-technology, advanced transport and shopping hub aligns with the JDA’s emphasis on creating resilient, sustainable and liveable urban areas in identified transit nodes and corridors.

The JITI will be commuter-friendly and the largest public transport facility for long-distance travellers in Africa, once open, the CoJ said.

“Transport is the backbone of Johannesburg’s economy and plays a significant role in connecting residents to education, business and work opportunities.

“The JITI facility will see approximately 1 500 travellers a day arrive or depart to destinations in the Southern African Development Community regions,” said CoJ Transport MMC Nonhlanhla Makhuba.

The hub has easy access to transport routes, like the Nelson Mandela bridge and the M2 double-decker freeway, and has amenities to make departure and arrival easier for long-distance travellers.

To reduce the waiting times of long-distance travellers for buses and taxis in the inner city, the facility’s 50 000 m² floor area includes a bus terminal for cross-border buses, as well as holding space for 800 taxis, ranking space for 158 taxis and ranking for 20 buses.

Disabled commuters’ ease of access will also be catered for throughout the facility, and there will be clear electronic signage indicating arrival and departure times, Makhuba said.

Further, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras throughout the facility, good lighting and wide corridors ensure that the JITI facility is designed to be safe and attractive. The security of the facility will be managed from a control room equipped with a building management system.

Only vehicles that have the correct operating licences and vehicle fitness certificates will be allowed to operate in the facility.

The advanced access control, which will feature dual-authentication, including licence plate recognition, will be one of the innovations to ensure that vehicles are operating safely.

Green building designs, including solar power, have also been incorporated throughout the facility.

The facility will also create a variety of economic opportunities, as well as provide social amenities for inner city users and residents, with 3 300 m² devoted to retail, including large retail outlets, banks, ticketing offices, food courts and informal traders.

“The state-of-the-art JITI will be one of the critical projects which will ensure that efficient mass public transport networks and connections, transit-oriented multi-use precincts, together with strategic land-use planning and zoning regimes are realised to connect people to opportunities to live, work and play in the city,” the CoJ said.

The scope of works for the construction of the facility included bulk earthworks, water and sewer reticulation, concrete superstructure, electrical works, including lighting, smoke detection, solar panels, a public address system, CCTV, access control, standby generator and substation, mechanical works, including ventilation and smoke ducts, air-conditioning system, lifts, chiller, building management system, fans and sound attenuators, wet services and fire, exterior works, including paving and kerb installation, road works and furniture and artwork.