E-tolls, public transport and driving

My car is public transport. I am a member of the public. My car is my means of transport. So my car is public transport. The fact that 9 times out of 10 it carries only 1 person, the driver, me, is irrelevant. I like my space, my peace and quiet. I do a whole lot of thinking in the car, and yes, a whole lot of crying. I let out all my frustrations in the car and sometimes the tears come. I also do a lot of singing in the car. Where most people will sing in the shower, I sing in the car, where absolutely no one can hear me (the shower is still a bit public).

In California, there is a special lane on the freeways (the fast-lane) for car pools, that being any car with more than one person in it. It is well monitored,. If a single occupant car is found traveling in that lane it is fined. That is good incentive to car pool. Make the fast-lane a car pool lane. And instead of trying to e-toll us to death, use those gantries to monitor and police the car pool lane.

There are many drivers on our roads that should not be driving on freeways. They simply have no clue. They don’t know that to  join a freeway THEIR  speed has to be adjusted to match the freeway’s speed, not the other way around. They cut you off when they want to overtake, and don’t realise that when overtaking, they actually have to SPEED UP, not slow down, or even travel at the speed they were traveling in the first place. Because what is the point of overtaking if they are going to be traveling at the same speed as they were in the slow lane?

And then there are the e-tolls. To e-tag or not to e-tag, that is the question. We have a reprieve and the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. I wouldn’t mind paying e-tolls if I knew that the money was going to be used to build a decent and safe mass public transport infrastructure. I would relish not having the battle the traffic every day, having some time to read or prepare for the work day ahead. When I travel to other countries, I will find any excuse to use public transport. I love it! With a safe and decent public transport system I would gladly leave my public transport at home and use the other public transport at my disposal.

Then I would be a lot more green than I am now. I would be a lot less stressed than I am now. I would have a lot less traffic fines to pay than I have now. The environment would benefit. My health would benefit. My bank balance would benefit.

Like most South Africans I honestly thought that levy on petrol went to keep the roads in good shape. And, yes, some roads are privatised, and I choose whether to use them or not. I guess we know now that e-tolling is not really about giving us decent roads. Someone decided to gamble with money that didn’t belong to them and now are in deep sh**. There is a debt to be paid so now what?

With the Juju soapie supposedly over, we now have the e-toll saga to keep us entertained. It will make us laugh, cry and rage. Part soapie, part reality -TV. Move over Survivor-Isidingo…

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