Gautrain celebrates 5 years of excellence

Posted on in Members' News

SOUTH AFRICA: On 8th June 2010, the first commercial Gautrain left Sandton Station to OR Tambo international Airport Station at exactly 5:24 am. Five years later this airport service is transporting an estimate of 6,000 people on any given day.

CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, Jack van der Merwe said “Various objectives have been met on the Gautrain systems and since its operation started in June 2010, the overall system (train, busses and parking) has performed extremely well.”

During the five years, the service has delivered at an excellence of 99% train availability and 98% train punctuality. Other highlights achieved from June 2010 to April 2015 includes fifty million passenger trips, three hundred thousand train trips and one and a half million bus trips.

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Gautrain has changed the traveling patterns for business and leisure travelers in Gauteng. Five years ago, the idea of travelling from the centre of Sandton to the OR Tambo international Airport in 15 minutes was just a dream. (The trip averages between 1hr to 1hr 30min by car, depending on the time of day). Today it’s a convenient reality with thousands of people making this journey every day.

Approximately 60,000 train passengers and about 23,000 bus passengers utilise the service on a typical weekday. This growth in passenger demand can be ascribed to the Gautrain’s relentless focus on key customer satisfaction criteria including safety, reliability and affordability. With a legacy of winning various local and international awards including the Global Air Rail Award (GARA) service excellence award on customer experience in 2014 and the GARA Marketing Award in 2011, Gautrain has made fast, convenient, comfortable and efficient transport a reality in Gauteng.

In March 2014 a number of system enhancements were introduced and implemented phases to ensure that travelling on the Gautrain is safe, convenient and value for money. These enhancements includes amongst others:

  • Introduction of eight-car train sets during the morning peak thereby increasing seating capacity for commuters.
  • Extending the operating hours of the Gautrain Airport Service between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport stations on weekdays to 30 minutes earlier and 35 minutes later.
  • Keeping Sandton Station Parking open later at night to accommodate airline passengers with delayed flights to access their vehicles. This parking will now stay open until 24:00.
  • Commence with the feasibility studies for the Gautrain extensions as approved in the provincial 25-Year Integrated Transport Master Plan (ITMP25).
  • Implementation of 10 minute headways in peak periods as opposed to the previous 12 minute headways resulting in one more train per hour in peak periods.

Since its inception, the Gautrain has changed the lives of many people in Gauteng through job creation, skills development to a visible impact on property development along its route, spatial development and economic growth. The Project is changing the perception of public transport in South Africa by providing a safe, reliable, affordable and convenient public transport system in the corridor between Johannesburg and Tshwane and between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport.