Gautrain celebrates midibus feeder service successes

14th December 2023

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Urban commuter rail service Gautrain has opened additional midibus routes from its stations in Centurion and Hatfield in partnership with the minibus taxi operators.

The Gautrain Midibus Feeder and Distribution Service has been operating from Marlboro station since 2011 following a partnership with taxi associations from Alexandra township. The Gautrain-branded midibuses currently transport about 72 000 commuters a month and trips are affordable at R12 a trip, Gautrain notes in a statement.

The partnership has created employment for 69 people, of which 21 are women and 30 youth.

The contracting model addresses several issues, including enhancing the integration of the Gautrain system with other public transport services within the province, improving accessibility to Gautrain stations and reducing traffic congestion to the stations, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO designate Tshepo Kgobe.

Additionally, the vast majority of midibus commuters also use the Gautrain, which boosts train ridership, he adds.

Future service enhancements include introducing integrated ticketing. Gautrain wants the Midibus Feeder and Distribution Service to use the same tap-and-go cashless ticketing system used for its trains and buses.

Gautrain is mandated to strive to be more inclusive by integrating with other modes of transport and, specifically, minibus taxis.

“We are on the right track with the midibus service. It is a win-win solution for the Gautrain, taxi operators and commuters. The minibus taxi industry is a critical public transport provider in South Africa and this proven contracting model can be replicated across the country,” Kgobe says.

The GMA team has imparted skills through the midibus service initiative and operators can apply the lessons and skills gained, such as negotiation skills, to change the taxi industry, says Alexandra Taxi Association member Mxolisi Ximba, urging other stakeholders in the taxi industry to join the initiative.

“The partnership offers equal benefits for taxi operators who gain revenue and acquire valuable skills and knowledge to consistently deliver an efficient public transport service and excellent customer service.

“Further, the midibus service attracts commuters who would not ordinarily use midibus taxis. Taxi operators have maintained service delivery and quality, with no strikes, disruptions or lawlessness,” Kgobe says.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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