Gautrain fares announced

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Johannesburg - Commuters using the Gautrain from OR Tambo International Airport to Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria can expect to pay between R105 and R125 for a single trip as from July this year.

The Gautrain Management Agency on Wednesday announced the fare structure for all the routes the rapid train will be taking once it's fully operational at the beginning of July. 

A person who buys a monthly ticket from the Hatfield Station in Pretoria to the Johannesburg city centre will pay R39 per trip, as opposed to the R49 payable for the once-off trip. For weekly tickets the price increases to R43 per trip. 

The fare for a trip from Sandton to OR Tambo Airport increases from the current R100 to R105 as from 1 June. It will cost R115 to get to the airport from the Johannesburg city centre, while those travelling from Pretoria to the airport will pay R125. 

The discount offers are applicable to 44 trips monthly and 10 trips weekly.

Gautrain is the first rapid rail system to be introduced in South Africa to alleviate traffic congestion on the roads and encourage more use of public transport. 

Officials were adamant that the fee structure was based on the "principle of affordability" and were "highly competitive" as compared to other modes of public transport. 

They also dismissed fears that the train will only be accessible to the elite, while the poor will continue to be restricted to other modes of transport. 

"They are sufficiently price-attractive to create a substantial shift from private car use to public transport in the form of Gautrain," said Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi. 

The Gautrain fees, he said, compared favourably to the cost of a single trip between Pretoria to Johannesburg city centre which cost about R61 for a 1600 engine vehicle. The costs were apparently only for fuel and tires and excluded depreciation, maintenance and parking expenses. 

Once they purchase their monthly saver pass, Gautrain commuters will be required to use the ticket within seven days of purchase or risk forfeiting all the trips. 

Vadi said it was expected that the majority of people will buy monthly and weekly tickets, which will lead to them getting up to 20 percent discount. The Gautrain feeder and distribution buses will cost R6 per trip for a person using the train, while ordinary users will pay R20 per trip. 

The first phase of Gautrain was opened in June, days before the start of the FIFA soccer World Cup in South Africa. This included the sections between the airport and Sandton. Around 105 000 jobs are said to have been created since the inception of construction. 

CEO of the Gautrain Project, Jack van der Merwe, said they were hoping to increase the train's passenger intake from the current 2.7 million to three million passengers a month. - BuaNews

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