11 000 commuters use new Gautrain route

2011-08-02 14:16

Johannesburg - About 11 000 commuters had travelled on the Gautrain's new city-to-city high-speed train route between Johannesburg and Pretoria by midday on Tuesday, said Gautrain management.

"These are the figures we have received since the opening at 05:00," said Gautrain Management CEO Jack Van de Merwe.

He said about 1 600 commuters had used Gautrain buses to get to the stations.

A one-way journey takes just over half-an-hour and costs R46.

On the way to Hatfield from Sandton, the train stops at stations in Marlboro, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria.

A first-time commuter aboard a train to Pretoria on Tuesday said the new route was easier, more peaceful and secure than driving.

"I have been driving to Pretoria from Randburg and back, for 11 years, and it made my life miserable," said Gloria Maaka-Tlokana. Now she could tell her family exactly what time she would be home.

Maaka-Tlokana, who works for the education department in Pretoria, said she would park her car at Brightwater Commons shopping centre in Randburg every morning.

She would then board a bus to Sandton station and take the Gautrain.

A new era for transport

In Pretoria, she would take a bus to Bosman Street and then go to work. "The whole trip including the bus rides, takes about an hour. And to think, it took me an hour just to leave Pretoria the other day," said Maaka-Tlokana.

She said travelling on the Gautrain would also save her car maintenance costs.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele who boarded the Gautrain at Hatfield station on Tuesday morning, said the opening marked a new era for South African public transport.

"At 160km/h, and I didn't even have my seat belt on," he said from the platform at Sandton station.

The driver of the train between Rosebank and Hatfield was 26-years-old.

"I am impressed with all the drivers. All you need is a matric and driver's licence to operate these trains. Look, at 26 he's driving a train," said Ndebele.

Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said it was hoped 100 000 commuters would use the Gautrain every day.

"I thought this day would never come... Gauteng stands out as the pride of this nation."

The only hiccup on Tuesday was a four-minute delay of one of the trains.

Economic Development MEC Qedani Dorothy Mahlangu, said the public resources gathered for the project were now being enjoyed by all South Africans.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane was also supposed to board at Hatfield station, but was ill with bronchitis.

In a speech prepared for the event, Mokonyane said the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) service would also be integrated with the Gautrain.

"Commuters, therefore, will not have to experience the same frustrations and delays as motorists associated with escalating traffic congestion."

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  • deekei - 2011-08-02 14:37

    please link the gautrain to other big cities,durban,capetown,nelspruit,polokwane,mafikeng ,etc. we all need the service and would also like to experience how it feels

      samzaG - 2011-08-02 14:52

      again corruption by anc, waste of tax payers money

      ProfKaygee - 2011-08-02 16:18

      Deekei, I was about to say the same thing. This fool just said "the public resources gathered for the project were now being enjoyed by all South Africans", but the thing only runs in the Gauteng province. Does that sentence show a bit of intelligence?

      THE.SRG - 2011-08-02 19:03

      how long before the station or train itself gets burnt down by angry protesters i wonder..."its too expensive,we want cheaper,only the rich can use it"..booom.

  • Gerhard - 2011-08-02 14:40

    So this will cost you R2392 per month (26 day month)excluidng the bus connections? Hel, that seems steep, but maybe cheaper than a car at R10 per litre, toll fees and maintenance? I think SARS need to give people a tax excemption on there monthly transport costs.

      Brent - 2011-08-02 15:25

      You get monthly tickets which work out cheaper.

      gertie - 2011-08-02 15:27

      AA-run rate R1.66/km (no purchase cost)for 2L car. 37km one way Centurion / Rosebank = R61. The fastest I've done it 5:45 in the morning was 48min - can easily be 1:30 at 7:00. Train ticket and bus on either side = R42. Took 70minutes as I just missed the bus and just missed the train (worst case) 50min best case.

      Zion115 - 2011-08-02 15:29

      You can always choose the bulk option , this would cost R1,618.00 for 44 trips ( 21 Working Days ) (Park Station(once its operational) to Pretoria Central) ... As for the taxes, not paying toll fees will be your tax break, not to mention CO2 taxes :)

  • samzaG - 2011-08-02 14:41

    this anc has done nothing at all, this train and infrastructure was done under aprtheid government, the anc is corrupt wasting tax payers money

      Afrikanerbul - 2011-08-02 14:53

      Under Apartheid we would have had this train long ago, the grey shoes brigade (broeders) would have made their millions in backhands, would have named it the FW de Klerk Express and would enjoy special concessions for their children. BUT and this is where the difference comes in: (a) It would have been completed years ago and (b) would have been 10 times more efficient and serve more people.

      Darter - 2011-08-02 15:03

      @ AFRIKANERBUL. Uhm...dont want to sound obvious, but uhm....if it was built during apartheid (which was years ago), then would obviously have been completed years ago. Dont you think? Basic logic? Or were you rather implying that if the new and old trains were built at the same time, the "apartheid crew" would have finished it earlier? About serving more people, you cant build the whole system at one go. Not even the New York subway was built at one go. There has already been talk of expanding the system, so just relax on that point.

      semaj - 2011-08-02 15:12

      you Sir, are totally ignorant, get your facts straight before puttimg fingers to the keyboard. Apartheid never created this train or built this railway line. They did however have a fast train running between Jhb and Pta on the good old SAR that was capable of reaching 160km/h, that was called the Metroblitz. Sadly, it ceased operating long before 1994.

      jowza - 2011-08-02 15:18

      would those trains be steam or ossewa powered - 2011-08-02 16:18

      @samzaG - You can't honestly believe that the Gautrain is an apartheid government thing?! Oh my word, I don't understand how some people can still so be so delusional. I'm a full-blown DA supporter, but that doesn't mean I can't recognise a job well done - congrats ANC.

  • Javino - 2011-08-02 14:57

    SamzaG or whatever your name is you are nothing else but a foolish ignorant racist. what do you mean anc has done nothing? did the apartheid goverment you are praising provide running water, electricity and housing to rural people? dont be stupid man!!!

  • samzaG - 2011-08-02 15:05

    @Afrikanerbu go n fix your spoornet line that is killing ppl maaaan

      Afrikanerbul - 2011-08-02 15:25

      @samzag, If the Spoornet rails were just properly maintained by the new regime like it used to be in the past, and if there was more law and order as in the past less people would be killed by accidents and train violence and more people would commute by train - as I did before thugs started to rule inside the trains.

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-08-02 15:06

    "I am impressed with all the drivers. All you need is a matric and driver's licence to operate these trains. Look, at 26 he's driving a train," said Ndebele. -- That doesn't instil much confidence.

      gertie - 2011-08-02 15:40

      Having Matric puts you in the top 1/3 of the country. "only 46% stayed in school long enough to write Matric, of whom about 60% passed. The result: only 28% of them have a Matric certificate." (Source: Financial Mail, 26 March 2010)

      Mike Hoxbig - 2011-08-02 16:06

      The issue is not the matric, but the drivers license part. What training and certification does a train driver have to undergo to certify that he's in a position to act in the best interests of the commuters if things do go wrong. He's not driving a car here, he's driving a train with 100s of people's lives on the line.

  • Javino - 2011-08-02 15:08

    this country will never go anywhere as long as idiots like racists like samzaG and Afrikanerbul are still alive. samzaG your claim this train and infrastracture was done under apartheid era shows how foolish and ignorant you are. apartheid ended in 27 april 1994 if you dont know and there was no gautrain infrastructure before then.

      samzaG - 2011-08-02 15:21

      shutp maaaan anc has done nothing , is corrupt

      Javino - 2011-08-02 15:56

      @samzaG. I asked you what do you mean by saying anc has done nothing you failed to are bussy praising apartheid goverment which only selved the minority and didn't to anything about rural development and poverty alleviation. that is corruption at its best. the very same apartheid gorvement you are praising promoted economic imbalances in the country. our fathers with qualifications earned less salaries compared to some un-educated whites. now that is corruption and we will not allow your baseless, foolish and racist comments.what do you want? to go back to the apartheid era?forget it man and accept that your racist aprtheid gorvement was defeated for the benefits of all south african. - 2011-08-02 16:20

      @Javino - Just ignore samzaG and Afrikanerbul. They have nothing more to do other than spread hatred.

  • soba le boya - 2011-08-02 15:21

    train suffers(dlala staff) are they there?,they

  • Common_Sense - 2011-08-02 15:23

    "All you need is a matric and driver's licence to operate these trains. Look, at 26 he's driving a train," said Ndebele. Oh boy. Not that it's rocket science but something about that comment just reads "accident waiting to happen". Lets hope they've also taught the drivers that they have thousands of lives in their hands every time they push the "go" lever. The first sentence that would come out of my mouth during train driver training would be "This is not a taxi".

  • zakamo - 2011-08-02 15:25

    samzaG, your argument is shallow

  • Nawe - 2011-08-02 15:27

    thought the anc was a total failure! guess not!

  • IC1 - 2011-08-02 15:37

    Brilliant, please role out to other cities

  • Sal - 2011-08-02 15:40

    Give the government some credit,for goodness sake,when will we stop and move on,can no achievement just be appreciated with positive comment,without politicizing it in this country,forget the racism and apartheid talk,it is over. Sal,a white and proud South African

      jowza - 2011-08-02 15:51


  • lang.stuart1 - 2011-08-02 15:54

    Great achievement - fantastic! Really! I too would love to be like Gloria Maaka-Tlokana and tell my family "exactly what time [I'll] be home." Will the new Gautrain also have informal traders' selling chips and cooldrinks (in buckets nogal)? What about the Jehovah's Witnesses and the man who's "asking for 20c?" And what about the man who "needs money for the night shelter please, please". The Metro-rail service - Cape Town to Simonstown - leaves much to be desired. There is more than one train in South Africa and there are several thousand disgruntled commuters. If you feel like I'm raining on your parade, I apologise for the inconvenience caused - Thank you.

      Louissventer - 2011-08-02 16:40

      It all has to start somewhere..... We waited a long time and endured world famous traffic congestion to see this happen. This is a parade that is immune to your rain, Sir.

  • Louissventer - 2011-08-02 16:36

    Congratulations and thank you for adding such massive value to our lives. The time saved using this train I will spend with my family tonight. Now go and calculate the benefit of that multiplied by 100 000 people.

  • MetalWomble - 2011-08-02 19:19

    So the lives of a few people in a few cities will be made easier. Big friggin' deal. The rest of the country's public transport system still sucks donkey gonads. Big, impressive, expensive, and utterly pointless.

  • Collitjies - 2011-08-02 20:36

    They will probably go on strike shortly for Beemas and huge increase in salarie and 20 hour working week plus 24 months maternity leave on full pay. Whats more they will get it.

  • Jurgens van Eeden - 2011-08-03 08:07

    I've been using the system for the past 2 days. and I must say I'm very impressed. Its quite amazing that people are throwing comments about racism and all the other crap. This was done by South African goverment, does it really matter who. The whole point of the system is to give you a better alternitive than driving. Its obviously a bit more expensive than driving. But the system is new, and the need to make it economical to run the system. Its basically phase one, they are planning to expand it, and they probably will do so very quickly. Hopefully we should see systems like this in every major city, and pretty soon they will all be connected. So don't hate the system just because you're not inlcluded. Be glad that SA is making progress in transport. So if you don't have anything good or constuctive critisizm, shut the hell up. It just displays your ignorance and/or stupidity. GAUTRAIN ROCKS!

  • dcloete - 2011-08-08 14:10

    Dunclo Gautrain brilliant concept and success why all the negativety why all the comments of black versus whites this is a national asset and jointley conceived and build between black and white people created employment and will keep on creating employment lets just get positive and give acknowledgement when it is due.

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