REA VAYA is the end product of an extensive process of consultation with a vast range of interested parties. It goes back to 2006 to 2007, when the City of Johannesburg approved a project to set up a public transport system that would improve the quality of life of its residents.

According to research, many workers spent two hours and 18 minutes in transit when using a taxi to and from work, and they spent 10 percent of their income on public transport costs. A Bus Rapid Transit system feasibility study was carried out in 2006, which noted the importance of integrating Rea Vaya with the Gautrain and Metrorail.

Investigations were also conducted into Bus Rapid Transit systems run in Brisbane, in Australia; Boston and Los Angeles, in the US; and Jakarta, in Indonesia. Lessons learned from Quito, in Ecuador, were also noted, including the need to involve other public transport stakeholders such as bus operators.

The critical aspect of Rea Vaya is that it is an inclusive and integrated project.

In 2007, representatives from the City of Johannesburg, as well as a number of other organisations, visited Bogotá and Pereira to investigate Colombia’s TransMilenio project. Johannesburg made sure that as many interested parties as possible, particularly taxi operators, were part of the delegation to the South American country.

It has emphasised all along that although there may be fewer taxis on the roads, drivers and operators will not be worse off; the project involves getting former taxi drivers to become bus operators, or bus maintenance managers.

Furthermore, the project includes extensive efforts to integrate with a wide range of other services, including feeder vehicles, pedestrian corridors, bicycles, metered taxis and private cars.