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The process of implementing a policy often highlights concerns about its relevance and viability, which were not anticipated during its development. This article considers how mechanisms can be sought for maximising the benefits, as well as mitigating the negatives of the policy framework during its implementation. A number of South African cities have either planned or implemented Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, in an attempt to provide affordable, reliable and safe public transport to address the spatial patterns inherited after apartheid, as well as to provide economic benefits. This article outlines the process that the eThekwini Municipality went through in adopting a BRT system; highlighting some of the interventions that have been implemented to mitigate possible negative aspects. It provides some lessons, both for policy-making and implementation – particularly the need for policy to be relevant to the local context and for ongoing costs to be factored into the initial project plans.