Today's Big Stories

How using rail rather than road could help boost the economy

Dr Rose Luke Transport Economist at University of Johannesburg confirms that there are currently talks about making large investments in freight rail.

She says there has been underinvestment South African rail industry for over 20 years.

We are really far behind and this investment will really go a long way.

Dr Rose Luke Transport Economist at University of Johannesburg

If we really want to change goods from road to rail, we have to think about providing the kind of service that the economy needs.

Dr Rose Luke Transport Economist at University of Johannesburg

Luke says that modern economy needs a fast, lean and agile service that will get goods to their destinations speedily and without upgrades rail might not survive.

However, rail is a better option from an environmental perspective, says Luke. Companies would be saving on fuel when using rail instead of road.

Trucks also damage the infrastructure which has a knock on effect for our economy as it increases the need to repair roads.

Think of how much fuel you can put on the train compared it to how many trucks it will to take the same kind of load.

Dr Rose Luke Transport Economist at University of Johannesburg

With regards to passenger rail services, Luke says people react badly when services don't function. This results in burning of trains and vandalism.

Listen below for more benefits of using rail rather than road to deliver goods:

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