Commuters to get Pretoria, Joburg express train
By Luyanda Makapela
Pretoria - Commuters who often spend hours in peak traffic between Pretoria and Johannesburg are to receive a business express train.
The service will run from Pretoria Station and end at Johannesburg Pak station in under an hour and is expected to dramatically reduce the congestion on the N1 highway. Buses will also provide further distribution around the two cities from the stations.
Security guards will be deployed along the route of the train and fares will be as low as R30 up to a monthly ticket of R750.
Unveiling the Pretoria-to-Johannesburg business express train, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said the service forms part of Metrorail's passenger rail turn around strategy.
"We want to transform Metrorail so that it is capable of delivering quality services that provide transport solutions for all South Africans irrespective of social status, class and background."
The minister said the business express concept, which has proven successful with its launch of Soweto and later the Khayelitsha Business Express last year seeks to be the mode of public transport that pioneers crafted for a preferred mode, representative of the target profile of the inter city commuter.
The Business Express is located within the broader context of the Cabinet-approved Rail Plan, which has identified specific interventions targeted at various corridors.
This includes R8.6 billion Moloto Rail Project, R1.2 billion Bridge City Development and the Bara-Link Extension.
Other interventions include integrating commuter rail with the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link service through the building of a new station at Rhodesfield.
The consolidation of Metrorail within the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC) in May last year has laid the foundation for improvement in rail services leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Mr Radebe said most of these interventions were already underway and will contribute to the improvement of rail services leading to the event.
"We are investing R16 billion in passenger rail- which is our largest investment in passenger rail in half a century," he said.