PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
jeremy thorpe
 
Comments: 19
Article views: 2808
 
 
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
ruffieb
Why are you leaving?

The Question that African Presidents Do Not Want To Ask. Read more...

10 comments 728 views
Submitted by
ProJusticio
Why I am not full of CRAP

I accept the person in front to me as an equal human until he or she does something to change that perception.  Read more...

25 comments 395 views
Submitted by
pieterpompies
I, Human

I have, over the past few years, glanced at various secular humanist websites, and have found that my personal life philosophy is very much aligned with their goals - almost to a tee. Read more...

53 comments 551 views
Submitted by
Kurt Ellis
Gangs in Durban

Like most people who watched Carte Blanche this Sunday, I was flabbergasted by the comments of Brigadier Sayers, who stated that there are no gang activities in Wentworth. That the four drive-by shootings that occurred on Christmas day were just part of general festive activities. Read more...

2 comments 842 views
Submitted by
Gabriel Wired
Religion: A gift to the Apex Crea...

Quite simply - for a while now I have been watching with interest Atheists, Agnostics and “Those of Religion” tear into each other showing little respect or sympathy for the other’s standing. Read more...

71 comments 1208 views
Submitted by
Laubcher van Zyl
Betty's Bay fires

Fire has been raging in Bettys Bay in the Overstrand for more than 48 hours now Read more...

0 comments 1047 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

40% off top appliances!

Save 40% on the top 10 appliances on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save 20% on Camping gear!

Buy 4 camping items and save 20%. While stocks last. Shop now!

Fifty Shades of Grey!

This great read will captivate you from cover to cover and leave you itching for more. Get your copy now!

20% off braai items!

Save 20% when you buy 2 braai items. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Pampers!

Save 30% when you buy 3 or more selected pampers products. While stocks last. Shop now!

 

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 your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
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.