PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
jeremy thorpe
 
Comments: 19
Article views: 2833
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all jeremy thorpe's badges.
 

"Train" yourself to avoid e-tolls!

23 July 2014, 13:38

Six months ago – in mid January – I wrote an article on News 24 in which I described how I’d found an alternate means of getting from Joburg to Pretoria and back daily, thus managing to avoid paying e-tolls on the Ben Schoeman highway.

My journey to work now involves a trip on the Gautrain from Rosebank to Pretoria, followed by a brief 12 minute trip on Metrorail from Pretoria station to my place of work. Since January I’ve done the train journeys on average 3 times a week, using the car only when I need to take packages to work or when I have to see clients.   

When I wrote the original article, some of you suggested I might be in for a few nasty surprises, particularly with regard to Metrorail and that I may change my mind and go back to using the car. Well, 6 months down the line, as it were, I thought it was time for a bit of feedback.

Let’s start with the Gautrain. For anyone reading this who hasn’t yet used the Gautrain, it is undoubtedly the most first-world land-transport system available in South Africa. It’s fast, quiet, clean and comfortable and, most importantly, it’s on time to the minute. You can genuinely set your watch by its arrival and departure times! 

That said, there are a couple of minor niggles. One of these is Gautrain’s apparently illogical use of four-car and eight-car trains. For example, Gautrain’s stated afternoon rush hour times, during which it charges a higher rate, are from approximately 3 30pm to 6pm. Yet about a third of all the Joburg-Pretoria trains that run in both directions in this busy period are four-car trains. This is crazy. I was unlucky enough to catch a four-car rush-hour train a couple of weeks ago – and I wound up standing all the way from Pretoria back to Joburg!

Other small issues……why do the four car trains stop halfway down the platform at Pretoria station, thus forcing latecomers to run the length of a four-car train to catch, and often miss, their train? And while I fully understand Gautrain’s desire to keep their stations and trains clean by refusing to allow food and drink to be sold or consumed on them, why not allow newspaper vendors at stations? The stations are obvious places to buy newspapers.       

On to Metrorail – and I guess you get what you pay for! I pay a total of just R12 50 for my two 12 minute daily trips, which is a fraction of what I pay on the Gautrain. But in return I get trains which are old, slow, often late and whose floors, thanks to the hawkers who ply their trade on the trains, are often littered with crisp bags, banana skins and peanut shells.

There have also been the issues of the PA system and announcers at Pretoria station, both of which have been useless, and there's the continuing nightmare of huge crowds waiting on platforms and pushing their way onto trains before anyone can get off.

I’ve addressed all the above issues to both Gautrain and PRASA/Metrorail management – and the responses aren’t what you might expect. Basically, there’s been no response from Gautrain, who seem to think they’re above criticism. But a little surprisingly, I’ve received a couple of rather nice emails from PRASA/Metrorail, who’ve apparently taken my suggestions seriously and appear to have plans to improve their service.

This morning, to my absolute surprise and amazement, there was a new and upgraded PA system in operation at Pretoria station, with a new and much more professional announcer.  So kudos to Metrorail…they may have a massive and massively-underfunded system – but they listen and they appear to be trying to make a difference. So I’ll continue using both Gautrain and Metrorail to get to work.

Funnily enough, I actually enjoy the train rides – and anything’s better than paying those thieving rats at Sanral…not to mention the fact that I’m saving 100km’s wear and tear on the car every time I use the trains!  

  

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mthokozisi Khumalo
Who gets financial exclusion at W...

Wits University, like any other university in South Africa, is still struggling to win the battle against the financial exclusion of students.  Read more...

19 comments 690 views
Submitted by
Abwana Boomklouf
Water Woes!

With the current water situation in South Africa, it amazes me at how little concern is shown when one tries to report a burst water mains... Read more...

4 comments 216 views
Submitted by
Zethembe Mseleku
The three-legged “threat” for you...

The notion of “youth development” has become the central theme in development agenda both locally, nationally and internationally. Read more...

2 comments 508 views
Submitted by
EricdeCarlos
Waving a bull in front of the red...

Our corrupt government is robbing us blind! And we can do nothing about it! Read more...

17 comments 1378 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
New airlines a good thing

We have so many airlines now. It is unbelievable. It is a good thing. Read more...

6 comments 424 views
Submitted by
Diego Singer
Policemen are being killed

I'm sure "Dojos", the training clubs, will do it "pro bono" self defence training for the police. Read more...

8 comments 434 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.