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IOLProperty - South African Property For Sale
Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

Joburg's tale of two trains

Metrorail Joburg's Express Train has failed dismally to attract a fair amount of commuters since it was launched in May 2008.

The Gautrain, meanwhile, has garnered an increasing number of passengers since its inception in June 2010.

According to Kelebogile Machaka, spokeswoman for the Bombela Concession Company, the firm that operates the rapid train, the Gautrain had transported between 10 000 and 12 000 a day when it started operating between Sandton and OR Tambo International Airport.

From August last year - when the link between Rosebank and Hatfield in Pretoria was opened - the number of commuters had increased to between 28 000 and 34 000 a day.

The number had increased to up to 40 000 a day when the Park station route in the Joburg CBD was opened in June this year.

Machaka added that the number of commuters had risen by at least 1 000 in the past few weeks.

"Current statistics indicate that 15 percent of passengers are airport service users."

She said train commuter patterns indicated that "the system operates close to capacity in the peak-flow direction [from Pretoria to Joburg] during peak times".

She said the number dwindles a bit during off-peak hours and in the counter-flow direction [Joburg to Pretoria] during peak hours.

Machaka would not disclose how much profit the Gautrain was generating.

The picture was starkly different when it came to the Business Express Train, which had failed to attract any commuters. "This train has not lost commuters. However, it has yet to attract more numbers," said Metrorail spokeswoman Lillian Mofokeng.

The Star

 
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