UMR Index


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Score: 38.7%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 31.4%

Public Transit


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Score: 34.8%

Population 10.4 million
Surface area (km2) 4,040
Population-density (people/km2) 2,572
GDP per capita ($) 8,418
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What Johannesburg Does Well in Urban Mobility

With the combination of a strong network of well-maintained and interconnected roadways and relatively low car ownership levels, Johannesburg offers well-managed traffic and comparatively low levels of congestion.

Similar to Cape Town, the city has relatively clean air. In 2021, Johannesburg implemented city-wide restrictions on pollution that empower local authorities to enforce the rules with vehicle emission tests.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Johannesburg’s Transportation System

Residents have been slow to embrace mobility sharing as relatively few companies in the sector operate in the city. Commuter rail and bus services are poorly connected to densely populated low income neighborhoods, leaving residents of those areas reliant on privately operated minibus taxis.

Despite being shared with the nation's administrative capital, Pretoria, Johannesburg's airport is not a major hub with relatively few international flights and passengers

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Johannesburg Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Many residents have lengthy walks to Metrorail stations and bus stops. To encourage ridership, the city can add bus routes and stops to help connect residents with Metrorail stations – a cost effective improvement that would help reduce walking distances and commute times. The government in surrounding Gauteng province is taking steps in this direction with a 2030 plan that includes using smart mobility technology to integrate minibus services more closely with the formal transit system. In the long run, extending existing Metrorail lines and adding new ones will be key to building out the city's public transit offering, but that effort will be a timely and expensive undertaking.

Johannesburg lags behind many of its peers with few car-free zones. Such zones support pedestrian and cyclist safety and increase the efficiency of foot and bike traffic The city can follow the example of other cities by piloting car-free zones in stages, starting with specific days of the week or during summer months, and looking to expand them based on public perception and utilization.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores