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Gautrain reopens with disinfectant spray booths, regular sanitising

Gautrain acting COO Tshepo Kgobe on the operations of the Gautrain as from May 4

4th May 2020

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The Gautrain resumed service, albeit limited, on May 4, following the suspension of all services at the end of March owing to the national Covid-19 lockdown. 

Trains will operate daily between 05h30 to 09h30 and 15h00 to 19h00. 

On Monday to Friday, trains operate at 20-minute intervals. On weekends and public holidays, trains operate at 30-minute intervals. 

The revised train and bus schedules are available on the Gautrain website and app.

Speaking during an Intelligent Transport Society South Africa webinar last week, Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) acting COO Tshepo Kgobe said the use of face masks will be mandatory on Gautrain.

All passengers and staff must wear a face mask at all times while at stations and while onboard trains, buses or midi-buses. 

Passengers must apply social distancing measures at stations and onboard trains, buses and midi-buses.

At stations this will be done through the use of floor decals at the stations, directing passengers to keep a clear distance from other passengers. 

These decals are spaced at least one meter apart from each other, creating a one square meter space per person, says Kgobe.

Similarly, onboard trains, buses and midi-buses, certain seats have been cordoned off to allow for social distancing. 

Buses will operate at a 30% load factor, trains at a 40% load factor, and midi-buses at 50%, says Kgobe.

Passengers have to remain seated while onboard the train, he adds.

Trains, buses and midi-buses are cleaned and disinfected at regular intervals throughout the day. Special cleaning staff are also deployed at all stations to wipe-down and disinfect touchpoints, such as handrails. 

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been made available at all stations, and on buses. 

There will also be random screening of passengers at stations, in collaboration with the Department of Health field workers.

Kgobe says the GMA and Gautrain operator Bombela are in the process of procuring disinfecting spray booths that will be installed at the entrance to each station. 

Passengers are required to walk through the spray booth before entering the station. The disinfectant spray is harmless and targets the Covid-19 virus carried on people’s clothing and bags, says Kgobe.

Passengers' temperatures will also be monitored.

The Gautrain airport service will remain suspended until further notice, adds Kgobe.

Passengers travelling on the East-West line must disembark at Rhodesfield station. Trains then proceed to OR Tambo International Airport where they will be turned around before proceeding back to Rhodesfield station. 

A limited Gautrain bus service is available as from May 4. 

Buses will not operate over the weekends and on public holidays. 

Four bus routes have been amended so that the vehicles stop at hospitals that are in close vicinity to the Gautrain alignment. This is to assist in transporting medical services personnel working at these hospitals.

For detailed bus route information, visit Gautrain.co.za

All standard midi-bus routes are operational, and midi-buses are disinfected after each round trip. Midi-buses will not operate over weekends and on public holidays.

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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