Gautrain airport shuttle due to run next month

Posted On Monday, 10 May 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Gautrain is likely to finalise the fare structure for its new high-speed rail link in the coming week, with the first phase of the project due June 8.

GautrainGAUTRAIN is likely to finalise the fare structure for its new high-speed rail link in the coming week, with the first phase of the project between Sandton and Oliver Tambo International Airport due to begin operations on June 8.

The cost of the 12-minute trip to the airport is likely to be between R100 and R120 for a one-way trip, with travel to the other stations — Marlboro and Rhodesfield — likely to cost far less.

“Gautrain will charge a premium for the airport link as it is a tailored service,” Gautrain spokeswoman Barbara Jensen said late last week. “Compare that to the expected cost of R30 to R40 for a trip from Park Station to Hatfield in Pretoria when the service becomes fully operational in the first half of next year.”

The first two coaches of the train will be used exclusively for the airport service and will offer commuters larger seats and more luggage space.

“The airport coaches will be separate from the rest of the train, with only the first two coaches able to dock at the airport platform,” Jensen said. The trains will run 12 minutes apart during the peak morning and evening periods, and 20 minutes apart during the rest of the day. When the second phase opens during the first half of next year, the intervals between trains will drop to 10 minutes in peak periods and 15 minutes during the rest of the day,” said Jensen.

Gautrain estimated in 2003 that up to 140000 commuters would use the train once it was fully up and running, but Jensen believes the introduction of toll fees on Gauteng highways next year will push up passenger numbers on the train.

“We believe that the service will be aimed at the upper income group. However, we also expect to attract an aspirational group of middle-income earners who may be lured away from the minibus taxis,” Jensen said.

However, she points out that the mandate has always been to attract a middle market that was more expensive than the average minibus taxi but less than the perceived cost of using a private motor vehicle.

The fares will be managed using a smartcard system and will allow commuters to pay for the train fare and associated parking and bus service using a single card.

The Gautrain station in Sandton will have 1800 parking bays linked to the station and the nearby shopping district. “The parking rates will be far cheaper than that at OR Tambo International,” said Jensen.

Gautrain will also initially have a fleet of 40 buses that operate a distribution service from the stations, with departures linked to those of the rail link.

Jensen admitted that security was the biggest concern for many potential commuters and Gautrain had paid particular attention to the matter.

“We will have 400 accredited security guards and 700 (closed-circuit TV) cameras at the stations and on the trains and buses,” said Kelebogile Machaka, a spokeswoman for Bombela, the company operating the Gautrain. Only commuters would be allowed on the platform, with access through dedicated gates.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 20:03

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