The start of the EcoMobility Festival in Sandton may have been postponed to next week, but it’s still happening. Starting on Monday 5 Oct, and set to last throughout the month, the EcoMobility Festival is coming to shake up the roads of Sandton. The EcoMobility Festival was first launched in Suwon City, South Korea in 2013 as a platform to discuss and work towards a future that promotes eco-friendly modes of transport. The event that will be happening in Sandton is only the second instance in the world. In the month of October, people coming in and out of Sandton will be urged to consider walking, cycling or public transport. The key part of the festival, aside from events that will include public dialogue and panels, is a demonstration of what a city that doesn’t prioritise single-passenger vehicles would look like. Roads around most of the Sandton Central Business District will be closed off to cars. This map shows which parts of the Sandton CBD will be accessible through which modes of transport. Most zones are open only for cycling and walking; with a dedicated route for public transport. According to the EcoMobility Festival website, this coming month is only a taste of what’s to come going forward. The City of Johannesburg is trying to build an accessible transport system that also considers the environment and gives more access to public transport commuters, cyclists and pedestrians. Three ways to get ready for the road-closures in Sandton in October:
  1. Visit and familiarise yourself with the Metrobus website, routes and timetable.
  2. Do the same for the Gautrain website. Their buses mostly come from Midrand, Fourways and Rosebank into Sandton.
  3. Learn the hand signals for hailing a taxi, and familiarise yourself with your closest taxi rank and which routes go to the Sandton CBD.
A park and ride system has been set up to feed into Sandton through Rea Vaya, taxis and Gautrain buses. With malls (Maponya, Randburg Square, Melrose Arch) and other key public points used as the public parking spots, users will be charged between nothing and R10.00 each day. View the detailed timetable here.

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