Why are there so few Gautrain passengers?

2012-08-08 13:03

Johannesburg - The new Transport Minister Ben Martins should urgently investigate the reasons why so few people use the Gautrain, it was reported on Wednesday.

Democratic Alliance transport spokesperson Ian Ollis, said the low usage meant taxpayers were having to pay nearly R300m a year to the Gautrain's operators, Beeld reported.

The government had provided a guarantee that it would pay the shortfall if the Gautrain's passenger requirements were not met.

The Gautrain needed 110 000 passengers a day to break even, but was transporting only between 38 000 and 40 000 passengers a day.

Ollis said the government's last payment to the Gautrain group was R330m.

"When one looks at the passenger figures, these payments can be expected to continue for many years to come," Ollis said.

  • mariuskowie - 2012-08-08 13:12

    Maybe because the Gautrani security detain you and charge you huge fines for chewing gum.

      zambezi.river - 2012-08-08 13:31

      Mebbe bcos gaus just dont like the train.

      Revelgen - 2012-08-08 15:20

      This was originally called the 'Shilowa Express' if I'm not mistaken. In other words, another scheme okayed by the ANC because they saw a great chance to pocket hundreds of millions. (Like e-tolling). Didn't the original estimates of the Gautrain rise from R7 billion to 21 billion? Typical ANC stuff-up.

      rohin.jadin - 2013-01-19 13:22

      @Rebel - i agree with strict rules regarding eating/drinking on the trains. You wouldn't like to sit down to some gum that's been stuck on the seat etc. I rather we have stringent rules to keep our trains clean, and i'm glad that security are enforcing them.

  • rene.duplessis1 - 2012-08-08 13:12

    How can this be? I use the Gautrain every day and most of the times there is a whole lot of passengers standing becuase there is no space to sit.

      raven.sqarr - 2012-08-08 13:49

      I agree! And standing is no fun - the train is meant for high speeds, thus no handhold anywhere at all. Just a bunch of people bumping into each other and falling over their own baggage.

      kala.bafazi - 2012-08-08 14:08

      I thoughgt you were not allowed to stand on the Gautrain because it was a high speed train. Maybe this R330 million is paid to the operators and then kicked back to the cadres in government.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-08 14:41

      At full capacity they expected 20% on the roof. They used Metrorail as their study case.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-08-08 14:59

      Someon must be running short of pocket money.....

      Blackpoison - 2012-08-10 07:26

      @Rene....with you on that one. If they just use 8 cars in peak time then there will be enough seats for everyone and more people will be able to use the train.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-08 13:14

    The same reasons that were there when the initial studies were done? When the non-sustainability of the project was mentioned by people, they were told that they do not support the soccer bid/events etc etc. Ask who developed the Marketing Plan and the Cash Flow Projections.

      okonkwo7 - 2012-08-08 13:27

      The gautrain will never be sustainable!

  • peter.jeffrey.581 - 2012-08-08 13:14

    Why bother trying to figure it out? it should be obvious that like etolling someone from the ANC would get a backhand so they steamrolled ahead with development and didnt do market research to ensure that it would be a success

  • werner.coetzee.73 - 2012-08-08 13:15

    There is no space to sit!!! Overloaded trains during peak hour! Need a task team to spot this...

  • Neven.Subrayal - 2012-08-08 13:19

    I stopped using the Gautrain because I cannot get parking at the Pretoria station after 8:30am.

      brian.exmachina - 2012-08-08 19:13

      I want to use it, but no Pretoria East station, and no easy way to get to Centurion station or Hatfield station. If I have to drive to the station, I might as well drive all the way to work. Also, unreliable. 5 people at my work place used to use the train. They were regularly late due to striking bus drivers, stolen cables and train malfunctions. After getting into trouble for it a few times, and putting friends and family at huge inconvenience to fetch them, they stopped using the train. It's no mystery why people aren't using the train. The only people who are confused about the reasons are sitting in government. And lets be honest, most things confuse them.

  • mauritz.kloppers.7 - 2012-08-08 13:21

    I am one of the 38000 semi-regular Gautrain users. These are my views: 1) If they only double the passengers to 80,000, they better put more trains on because the trains are getting to "standing room only" during peak times. Can the schedules handle more trains? 2) The feeder facilities are the weakest link - not the trains. The bustrip to and from the stations are inefficient. My end-to-end trip from Randburg to Pretoria CBD is quicker by car - the train is fast, but the bus adds another 50minutes to the whole journey. - Probably why most busses are still running empty.

  • okonkwo7 - 2012-08-08 13:22

    No such problems with Metrorail.

      milton.msomi - 2012-08-08 15:35

      okonkow7 just shut up

      tigra.aeris - 2012-08-08 15:51

      Of course not Metrorail is sustainable vs the Gautrain that isn't. Metrorail is just being mismanaged while the Gautrain is a status symbol to boost the ego's of our politicians so that they don't feel they're living in an increasingly third-world country.

      tigra.aeris - 2012-08-08 15:56

      It's like having a fancy new BMW, but having to live out of it because you can't afford a house...(While the BMW dealer is sipping a cocktail by the pool of his mansion)

  • johana.salivan - 2012-08-08 13:25

    What has to investigate? It is useless for most of the people in Gauteng, as they cannot reach the stations. I am happy for people that live nearby Rosebank station and work in CBD, but they are few - not enough to make this profitable.

  • shellerjc.rjc - 2012-08-08 13:26

    Here's an idea - Just an idea - use it - dont use it But just MAYBE the Gautrain employees should stop going strikes and in doing so stop all the disruptions, then just maybe public will starting using it.

  • riotousr - 2012-08-08 13:42

    It the high cost of the tickets. The pricing model is also bad. In countries like the UK the Gautrain in its configuration is a normal/ordinary/standard train that any British commuter can access. The price is limiting. The formula that Metro Rail used on their Business Express train is working. Why can't the Gautrain consortium cut and paste that formula?

      johana.salivan - 2012-08-08 13:56

      I agree that price is to high, but consider this: how to get from Cosmo City to Pretoria Zoo on the weekend? That is impossoble. Here is something that should be simple task: going to work from Parkview (close to Rosebank Station) to Parkmore (close to Sandton Station)? Impossible! And they are asking why people are not using it? Here is the answer - stations are out of reach for majority.

  • Willem - 2012-08-08 13:57

    I think it is to expensive, and parking fees added on top makes it not a cheep option. I also think the routes, which are limited and going through poorer areas is another factor. I think there was politics involved when the root were planned.

  • napolita.kio - 2012-08-08 14:07

    Dear Ian Ollis The current daily passengers on Gautrain is fairly in line with expectation if you take into consideration the particular demographic that was the primary consideration for implementing the service in the first place. Sir, you will/might have noticed that the other modes of (public) transport have not experienced a drop in their passenger numbers as a result of the Gautrain; for obvious reasons. So the answer to your query, despite being convoluted with what government agreed to pay the Gautrain operator(s), is that the usage of Gautrain is what it is as intended (consciously so or otherwise). With kind regards Napolita Kio

      janet.pretorius1 - 2012-08-08 14:19

      How is that possible when the gov admits a massive shortfall which the general public now has to cough up? That is what the entire article is about. You are not making any sense.

      napolita.kio - 2012-08-08 14:38

      Dear janet.pretorius1 You are wrong about two points: 1. Government making up the shortfall is not something that just happened "now". I challenge you to search news article, better still call Jack Van der Merwe ( one who runs the Gautrain), for facts relating specifically as to when did government agree on the shortfall and on what basis. 2. I am making sense. In case you missed it, the gist of my post is this: The demographic targeted by Gautrain is very small and it was known right from the beginning and hence it should be no surprise to Ian Ollis or anyone for that matter that the passenger numbers are as is. Gautrain was not meant to be what it is not but to be what it is.

      Vaneshree Pillay - 2015-07-06 22:33

      I agree. The Gautrain is targetted at a very small demographic. South Africa does not have a large middle-class. The large poor demographic certainly cannot afford to use it. The 1% live in compounds and have uber drivers take them to work. That leaves the (powerful) but small middle-class accessing the Gautrain. It needs to be cheaper and more accessible to be sustainable.

  • Bzeng - 2012-08-08 14:14

    Reduce fare and more ppl wil afford mnthily tickets, more passngers and more income, then taxpayers saved

  • pws69 - 2012-08-08 14:20

    Yet not two months ago the ANC were bragging about how successful the Gautrain is. It is only a success if people USE it, and we don't have to fork over R100's millions for it.

  • JHLR73 - 2012-08-08 14:21

    And their prices are ridiculous. Especially if you travel to OR Tambo airport!!! Extremely overpriced for airport customer, kind of a rip off!!!! I used this airport service once and never again due to the pricing. Cost me R 260 for return from PTA to OR Tambo. Rediculous..

  • marjorie.mahlangu - 2012-08-08 14:23

    How can they want to reach 110000 passenger while they can't accomodate 40000 passengers ?, and their price are very expensive , that means only the reachest will able to afford to use Gautrain, we call it the "Director's train",it's not meant for the middle claass & the poorest, look at Malboro station they build it next to RDP houses, people there walk to work or use taxi's .

  • dmutero1 - 2012-08-08 14:34

    Um sure the bubblegum issue is part of da problem nd da inevitable fact dat its jst damn too EXPENSIVE!

  • dmutero1 - 2012-08-08 14:34

    Um sure the bubblegum issue is part of da problem nd da inevitable fact dat its jst damn too EXPENSIVE!

  • dmutero1 - 2012-08-08 14:35

    Um sure the bubblegum issue is part of da problem nd da inevitable fact dat its jst damn too EXPENSIVE!

  • Tamandjaz - 2012-08-08 14:38

    I travel to JHB once a month and catch the train from OR Tambo to Sandton. It costs R230 for a return trip - that is crazy expensive and to top it off, when i arrive at the station at OR Tambo to purchase my ticket, there is usually a really long queue - it takes me longer to buy my ticket than it does to get from the Airport to Sandton on the train! And, the train is always full! (and i travel outside of commuter times) - how can they possibly fit more people in??

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-08-08 14:44

    Because gautrain is convenient too a few...not all of us.

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-08-08 14:58

    Another grandiose idea that hasn't worked! The usual story.

  • nolte.smit - 2012-08-08 15:18

    I just wish the honourable minister would try and take a train ride anytime from 6to 7:30 in the morning that is to say if he can get onto a train sorry into the train. This is why I dont ride anymore. Sometimes one has to catch the next train because their is no space on the current one.

  • odupreez - 2012-08-08 16:00

    How could a 110,000 passengers a day be guaranteed, or cover of the shortfall be covered by government, This sounds very much like the toll road fiasco that government is trying to legalise. The Minister of Transport should be "redeployed", just Angie - bunch of incompetants.

  • sifiso.msimango - 2012-08-08 17:59

    guess what!!, all those few passengers are white, its not Gautrain but whitetrain

      ben.lantz1 - 2012-08-08 18:24

      Sifiso if you start using the train,the taxi bosse will throw you off!!!!!

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-09 19:18

      Oh, so that must be why crime and violence is not present on the Gautrain?

      deirdre.bailey.3 - 2013-01-19 23:23

      Actually Sifiso you are not correct, it is not only whites who travel on the Gautrain. I speak from experience because I travel on it. Do you?

  • Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-08-09 10:10

    The answer is actually quite simple... the Gautrain is ALWAYS jam packed full of commuters... the reason they are not getting as many passengers is because there are not enough carriages on each train... they need to up the 4 carriages to 8 carriages on every single trip(not just a select few)... also, the cost of using the train to OR Tambo should be reduced

  • itse.nnete.1 - 2012-08-09 11:36

    The bus routes are inefficient...

  • Singatha - 2012-08-09 13:41

    Pay-as-you-go Pricing perhaps?I speak of as someone who's used it from the Airport to Sandton...Damn!! I really felt the pricing on the wallet.

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-08-09 19:19

    Who made the promise of 110,000 passengers? Let him pay the shortfall.

  • 123qwe456asd - 2012-08-10 10:11

    Let’s look at the figures for north and south bound trains only, North bound 62 trains per weekday and 31 weekends South bound 61 trains per weekday and 32 weekends (741 trains per week) Per 4 car train a total of 459 passengers (Sitting and standing) 741 * 459 = 340 119 passengers per week 340 119 / 7 = 48 654 per day (on a 4 car train) 97 308 passengers if all trains were 8 car trains How is it possible to transport 110000 passengers per day?

  • GerhardVO - 2012-08-20 08:15

    These projects are based on economic models, which require accurate estimates of the numbers of people that will use the train. It now appears the estimates were wrong. Which means that, if it does not change, in addition to us paying the hefty fees to use the train. The tax-payers are also on the hook for R 300,000 million p.a. paid by gov to the operators of the train, even if the project is infeasible. The BOC stakeholders are A French company called RATP Développement, Murray & Roberts, and the Strategic Partners Group. These guys will get paid with government guarantees regardless. Tax payers are on the hook. Typical ... Seems like we've been punked SA ... This is broader than the ANC. Read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and Behind the Green Mask by Rosa Kora.

  • hennie.deruyter - 2012-09-18 06:42

    110,000 on one day?! Do the minister expect full trains the whole day long? The trains are full over peak hour. The Gautrain route has only 10 stations. Only once the Metrorail system is seen as safe and reliable will a meaningful number of people use it to travel from the West and East Rand to then change trains at Park and continue to Sandton/Rosebank/Midrand via the Gautrain. The last time I used Metrorail I had to wait 90 minutes for a train. The train only has 3rd class and despite it's laterness it was still have empty... In peak hour. We dont all live in Centurion or Hatfield.

  • bryan.coulter.180 - 2013-01-20 12:44

    Gautrain, SAA, Transnet, Escom, SABC, its all the same thing. Gautrain was dead in the water before the first spade hit Park Station. All the experts said it and South Africans need to get used to the idea that they will be forking out billions forever to keep the choo choo going. If you want the train to work, extend the line to Soweto where the people actually live and cut the fares in half. ANC scamster project.

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