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Gautrain marks 14 years of operations

10th June 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter

     

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Rapid rail network Gautrain on June 8 celebrated its fourteenth year of operation, having, thus far, completed about 192.8-million passenger trips.

“The idea of a high-speed rail network with an 80 km route between the north, south and east of the Gauteng province, sounded like a pipe dream to many when the Gauteng provincial government announced it. Fourteen years later, 1 500 staff are employed across operations and administration of the Gautrain project and we have managed to maintain an average of more than 90% availability and punctuality across all Gautrain services,” says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO Tshepo Kgobe.

The Gautrain’s transport network includes ten stations that connect Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and the OR Tambo International Airport; 96 rail cars; a fleet of 125 heavy-haul busses; and 29 midibuses.

“In many ways, the Gautrain is a trailblazer in the South African rail and public transport sector. It is the first and only rapid rail network in the country, and it was the first public-private partnership of its scale in South Africa when it was launched,” says Kgobe.

“On the fourteenth anniversary of Gautrain’s launch, and in a year that South Africa marks 30 years of democracy and freedom, the Gautrain has proven to be more than just a transport project, it is playing a bigger role in transforming spaces, people and the economy through mobility.

“The Gautrain has brought jobs, new skills, the easing of mobility for ordinary people and major economic developments around stations,” he adds.

The GMA estimates that R46-million has been added to the Gauteng provincial government's GDP by the Gautrain, while about 245 000 jobs have been created owing to property development induced by the Gautrain.

Kgobe highlights that the Gautrain is a strategic national asset valued at R45-billion, and once the current concession expires at the end of its 19-and-a-half-year term, the costs of establishing this long-term asset will have been paid off, allowing the Post 2026 Gautrain Project to reap the economic benefits.

“With a shared vision and strong team effort, a dream of a world-class public transport system became a reality,” he comments.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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