Transportation in Johannesburg

Public transportation

With a whole fleet of new double-decker buses, Metrobus runs on schedule from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on over 100 lines through the entire metropolitan area of ​​Johannesburg. Most routes start and end at Ghandi Square (formerly Vanderbijl Square) bus station, corner of Main Street and Rissik Street.

Depending on the distance, you can drive in six zones, zone one being the closest and zone six the most distant. Ticket prices depend on how many zones are traveled

Buying collective tickets with multiple tickets is cheaper than paying for tickets directly on the bus. They are available in shopping centers at Computicket kiosks (Tel: (011) 340 80 00 or (083) 915 80 00, Internet:

The S-Bahn Metrorail (Tel: (011) 773 70 92 or (0800) 12 70 70, Internet: connects many parts of the city (including Soweto) in the greater Johannesburg area. In general, the use of the S-Bahn is not recommended due to the risk of theft.


The fastest, if not the safest, way to get from A to B in Johannesburg is by minibus taxi (sometimes called Zola Budds by the locals after the famous South African runner), which runs on most lines from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. It starts when the minibus is full and stops anywhere along the route.

The main minibus terminal in central Johannesburg is at the Metro Mall shopping center, Ntemi Piliso Street, Newtown.

However, minibus taxis are not recommended for tourists. Although the service is getting better organized and newer buses are replacing old ones, they still have a bad reputation, not to mention traffic safety.

Tourists who still use minibus taxis should exercise caution and common sense. One should not be the only passenger or drive alone and avoid run-down, dented vehicles with worn tire profiles.

Official taxis with taximeters, which you cannot stop on the street, are much more expensive, but also safer and more convenient than minibuses. However, you can call them day and night by phone and also book them for day trips.

Although the taximeters are generally accurate, you should ask the taxi driver to give you an approximate price before you start your journey. Locals don’t tip, tourists do, and although the driver doesn’t expect them, a small tip is accepted.

Rose Taxis (Tel: (011) 403 00 00, Internet: are known for their reliability. Maxi Taxi Cabs (Tel: (011) 648 12 12) is also recommended.

Driving in the city

Johannesburg’s development is closely linked to the rise of the car, and it is evident how urban planners have taken drivers’ needs into account over the decades. The road and motorway network is excellently developed and maintained.

Parking is plentiful. Sights and shopping centers have parking spaces, and there are parking garages throughout the city.

When you park your car on the side of the road, it is customary to tip the parking attendant. It is worth supporting these guards, who often wear badges or work vests, as this will secure thousands of jobs.

Traffic jams usually only occur during peak hours from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. At all other times, you can usually reach your destination in Johannesburg in less than an hour. Most of the dangers in road traffic are due to risky driving (especially by minibus drivers), a lack of visible presence of the traffic police and lightning strikes in cars and armed robberies.

Tourists should never take hitchhikers or stop in (apparent) accidents to help. The car doors should also always be locked and the windows closed. At night, many drivers intentionally disregard red lights for fear of robberies, e.g. B. at intersections near parks or in remote areas such as motorway exits

Car rental

Renting a car is the easiest way to get around Johannesburg, especially for trips to neighboring areas. Hotels are often on hand to help, and all major rental companies also have counters at the airport. These include:

Avis (Tel: (0861) 11 37 48. Internet:
Budget (Tel: (0861) 01 66 22. Internet:
Europcar (Tel: (0860) 01 13 44. Internet:
Hertz (Tel: (0861) 60 01 36. Internet: and
Tempest Car Hire (Tel: (0861) 836 73 78. Internet:

Liability insurance is included in the tariffs, but full insurance coverage is often offered in addition (some rental companies insist) and is also highly recommended, especially against theft.

Drivers must be at least 23 years old and have a credit card and an international driver’s license (unless the normal driver’s license is in English and contains a photo of the driver).

Bicycle rental

Unfortunately, the city planners of Johannesburg did not include cyclists in their plans, and as a result, many drivers do not consider cyclists to be legitimate road users. It is therefore not surprising that there is not a single bike rental in the city.