EcoMobility boosts Gautrain numbers

Pretoria - Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi says there has been a substantial increase in passengers travelling on the Gautrain since the launch of the City of Johannesburg’s EcoMobility World Festival, last week.

He said there had been a passenger increase of 7.7% on Gautrain trips.

The MEC on Wednesday said on the first day of the festival, the Gautrain recorded its highest Monday passenger trip count with an average of 60 120 passengers using the service on the day compared to the normal 55 800 average Monday passenger trips.

He said the bus service increased by 512 passenger trips with an average of 21 076 passengers using the bus service on the day. A total of 2 934 non-train users were also recorded on buses, according to the MEC.

“The recent increase in the usage of the Gautrain passengers shows that commuters are making a conscious shift from private car use to public transport, and that public transport is safe, reliable, accessible and affordable.

“Our goal is to make public transport more accessible, convenient and integrated. The EcoMobility Festival is proving that public transport is accessible and affordable and the recent increase of passenger numbers on the Gautrain system shows that public transport is a mode of choice and not of force,” he said.

He said in support of the EcoMobility Festival, Gautrain has made few adjustments to its services, including additional eight-car train trips to depart from Hatfield at 5:56am and 7:26am on weekdays.

The weekday afternoon peak period (North and East-bound) is also extended and commencing approximately from 2:40pm (previously 3:30pm). Over weekends the trains will operate at 20 minute service intervals from 9am to 6pm, meaning that three as opposed to two trains will operate each hour in each direction.

Also, an additional express bus services over and above the current Gautrain bus services will be introduced to service certain park and ride sites.

The MEC said at Monte Casino, an additional 16 to 20 express bus service departures is planned in the peak periods.

Prepaid tickets for the Gautrain bus service is available inside the casino at the Sins outlet on Mondays between 9am and 10pm, Tuesday to Thursday between 9am and 11pm, Fridays to Saturdays between 9am and 12pm, and Sunday between 10am and 10pm.

“At Brightwater Commons an additional 10 to 12 express bus service departures are planned in the peak periods. Prepaid tickets for the Gautrain bus services is available at the Caltex Waterfront which is open 24 hours a day.”

Normal Gautrain bus services at 20 minute intervals will be running from Emperor’s Palace and Melrose Arch. In Sandton the existing Gautrain bus routes will marginally be impacted to operate on the EcoMobility public transport loop.

“These adjustments have proven that there is a need for public transport in our cities and that Gauteng is indeed moving the city region forward,” said MEC Vadi.