Soweto taxis go green

NGV's new filling station will help the environment

  • by Robert Sithole
  • Apr 7, 2015
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taxis will reduce their carbon emissions whilst driving

Even taxis are joining the worldwide move towards green.

In a unique initiative, Soweto taxi owners and drivers will now be able to fill up for less, whilst doing their bit for the environment, thanks to the opening of NGV’s new gas filling station in Dobsonville.

The filling station is offering gas-retrofitted taxis an alternative place to refuel their vehicles, saving them an average of 30-40% per tank (as compared to petrol). And it’s goods news for the environment – the taxis will additionally reduce their carbon emissions whilst driving, thereby improving air quality for all along their busy routes.

It is believed the initiative, which involves compressed natural gas (CNG) will forever change the taxi industry in Soweto. It’s safe and easy to use, and thousands of taxi drivers and owners are expected to welcome this exciting move.

As the second such NGV gas station in Johannesburg, it will offer an alternative refuelling spot to the original one in Langlaagte and is ideally located for taxis transporting commuters to and from work.

Even taxis are joining the worldwide move towards green. In a unique initiative, Soweto taxi owners and drivers will now be able to fill up for less, whilst doing their bit for

Zazi Dladla, Executive Director of CNG Holdings, says that more and more taxi owners and drivers are starting to see the benefits of conversion: “Because a driver’s earnings model is dependent on his ability to reduce costs while maximising the number of passengers carried, South Africa’s fluctuating fuel price directly impacts the take-home amount of each driver per day. This means that any fuel-related saving puts money back in drivers’ pockets. In the context of NGV gas, where it only costs an average of R300 to fill up, this can equate to a saving of up to 30-40% when compared to petrol.”

But the project is about far more than just cost saving for vehicle owners. “The process of switching to CNG is also set to reduce emissions by about 25%,” sayd Dladla. “With over 400 taxis already converted at our NGV Gas workshops, we’re excited about the long-term potential of our gas stations to improve air quality and, consequently, the quality of life of South Africans living close to busy commuter routes.”

Job creation is also a big plus. The compressed natural gas industry will, eventually, be able to offer thousands of jobs, with the Dobsonville station alone now providing jobs for approximately 18 people, including gas attendants, cashiers, security guards, managers and conversion technicians.

Taxi drivers from the area visited the station throughout the day to find out more about how they could convert their taxis. They engaged with a number of drivers who had already converted their vehicles. Vusi Shezi was one of them, and he says while he is definitely enjoying the savings from using NGV gas, “I’m also glad to be doing my bit for the environment. With so many taxis on the road, it’s important that we all do what we can to reduce pollution. I encourage other taxi drivers to convert and make a difference in the communities they drive in.”