The wait is over… Soon commuters will be able to travel effortlessly at 160 km/h between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
The Gautrain has been operating between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton since the 8th of June 2010. Over 1 million commuters / travelers have used this service since its start.
The Pretoria / Johannesburg link of the Gautrain was supposed to start operating on the 28th of June 2011 but was delayed (due to technical and other reasons). With over 400,000 cars using the highways between Johannesburg and Pretoria daily this was quite frustrating for commuters who were desperately hoping to start using this service.
Yesterday the Gauteng Provincial Government, the Gautrain Management Agency and the Bombela Concession Company confirmed that the next phase of the Gautrain network would be opened for commercial service on 2 August 2011. This follows a rigorous evaluation of all the contractual and technical requirements for this phase.
The section to be opened will extend from Rosebank Station in Johannesburg to Hatfield Station in Tshwane and will include all stations on this section. The Gautrain’s bus services will also be fully functional along this route. The final, southward leg from Rosebank Station to Park Station in the Johannesburg CBD will be opened at a later date to accommodate additional engineering works in that section of the route. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that the highest passenger safety standards are adhered to, while engineering works are in progress.
For those commuters who want to use the route between Rosebank and the Johannesburg Park Station: Buses will be provided to transfer them between these 2 stations. The actual routes of these bus services will be communicated at a later stage.
All the Gautrain Stations (with the exception of Park Station) will be opened to the public from Friday 29 July 2011 to enable prospective passengers to familiarize themselves with the train and bus services available and also to pre-purchase Gautrain tickets. Train and bus services will however only become operational from 2 August 2011. Commuters are encouraged to make use of this opportunity in order to avoid queuing when the system opens for service on Tuesday.
From 2 August 2011, train services will operate daily between approximately 05:30 AM and 08:30 PM (including weekends). Trains will run at 12 minute intervals during peak periods on weekdays (05:30 AM – 08:30 AM and 4 PM – 7 PM) and at 20 minute intervals during off-peak hours. The trains will run at 30 minute intervals during weekends. Subject to road traffic conditions, the Gautrain bus timetable is integrated with the train timetable. There is no bus service on weekends and public holidays.
For more information, commuters can visit http://www.gautrain.co.za (via their PCs) or http://www.gautrain.mobi (via their mobile phones). Commuters are also welcome to phone 0800 GAUTRAIN (0800 4288 7246) for more info. Detailed information guides will also be available at all Gautrain stations.
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