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Gautrain makes commuting a breeze

Written by Albert Pule
For nearly two years, IT consultant Atisang Nko has been enjoying the benefits of government’s investment in new transport infrastructure by using the Gautrain.

He travels on the Gautrain from Pretoria to Midrand and says the train is always on time despite one or two glitches, especially on rainy days.

Like many other Gautrain users, Nko’s main gripe with the service is the overcrowding, especially during peak times.

“Trains and buses are usually packed during peak hours, which can be a strain. Perhaps trains can be increased by maybe two carts to alleviate the overcrowding,” he suggests.

According to Nko, the Gautrain service is user friendly, affordable and convenient as he walks for less than 20 minutes from his flat to the Pretoria station.

Spokesperson for the Gautrain Dr Barbara Jensen says most passengers are happy with the service.

“The system is still popular for its efficiency and affordability.”

She says if the overcrowding continues, more trains will be added.

“Demand patterns and crowding on trains are monitored continuously. If certain norms or thresholds are transgressed over a period, additional rail service capacity has to be introduced. “At present an additional eight-car train is planned to be introduced in the morning peak period. This will be done as soon as the demand patterns are confirmed.”

Plans to extend the hours for the airport link are also underway.

“Discussion to extend the airport link hours is at a developed phase. In the future there will be an earlier train in the morning and later in the evening,” Jensen adds.