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Monday Oct 29, 2012

E-tolls to drive more motorists to Gautrain

The recent announcement of soon-to-be implemented e-toll tariffs for Gauteng motorists could see even more people flocking to the Gautrain - which is already dealing with parking problems and full trains during peak hours.

Bombela spokeswoman Kelebogile Machaka said there was no doubt that the implementation of the e-tolls will have an impact on the Gautrain.

"We definitely expect it will result in some motorists switching to public transport, including the Gautrain," she said.

Following a 60 percent year-onyear growth, the Gautrain Management Agency is now looking at alternatives to create more parking at various stations.

It has also increased the number of trains.

The busiest car parks are at Pretoria, Rhodesfield and Centurion stations.

The Gautrain is carrying between 37 000 and 40 000 people a day and the bus system between 12 000 and 13 000 people a day.

Parking problems aside, most Gautrain travellers seem satisfied with the service.

Marlene Human from Lyttelton said she used the Gautrain daily to travel from Centurion to Sandton.

"I have never had a problem to find parking or having to stand because of an overfull train," she said.

On some days the train was very full but never to an extent where it was uncomfortable, she said.

At the Pretoria station, Primula Soobramany said she used the train at times and was very happy with the service.

"I park here about two to three times a month and have not had any parking problems. Maybe it is because I come early," she said.

Solly Madumo, a legal officer working in the Joburg CBD, said the parking problem was ongoing at Pretoria station.

"I used the train on Monday and was very lucky to get a parking space. I arrived at the station just before 8am and then the parking lot was almost full," he said.

Gautrain spokeswoman Barbara Jensen said more temporarily parking areas will be phased in soon in Pretoria, depending on capex availability.

"Phase one is the removal of motorbikes from existing parking bays and phase two is the densification of existing parking bays.

"Negotiations are in progress for the longer term to acquire an additional 50 parking bays opposite the Old Berea Park Club which is about 300 metres from the station," she said.

Pretoria News

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