Gautrain eyes modernised system as it turns 14

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 10 Jun 2024
Fourteen years on, the Gautrain has completed approximately 192.8 million passenger trips.
Fourteen years on, the Gautrain has completed approximately 192.8 million passenger trips.

The Gautrain’s new delivery partner will work to further modernise, innovate and upgrade the current system, to ensure a continued safe and efficient public transport service.

This is according to Tshepo Kgobe, Gautrain Management Agency CEO, commenting on the high-speed rail network’s14 years in operation.

The Gautrain Management Agency previously noted its digital transformation offensive dates back to 2008, with an investment of R1 billion towards IT initiatives. This resulted in the implementation of the train design, upgraded electronic and communication systems at the control centre, as well as advanced electronic systems fitted across all its stations.

The Gautrain is operated by the Bombela Concession Company, in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government.

According to Kgobe, the current concession agreement between the two entities comes to an end in 2026. He adds that the Gautrain Management Agency has already gone to market to invite bids for the next concessionaire that will operate and maintain the rapid rail system.

On its 14th anniversary, Kgobe maintains the Gautrain has proven to be more than a transport project. “It is playing a bigger role in transforming spaces, people and the economy through mobility.”

“The Gautrain has brought jobs, new skills, the easing of mobility for ordinary people and major economic developments around stations. It is estimated that R46 million total of gross domestic product impact has been added to the Gauteng Provincial Government economy and a total of 245 000 jobs have been created due to property development induced by the Gautrain.”

He highlights that the post-2026 Gautrain project will add further economic benefits.

In June 2010, the Gautrain saw the first ride for commuters leave the Sandton station for OR Tambo International Airport, ahead of the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Kgobe says since it started operating on 8 June 2010, the project has completed approximately 192.8 million passenger trips.

“The idea of a high-speed rail network, with an 80km route between the North, South and East of the Gauteng province, sounded like a pipe dream to many when the Gauteng Provincial Government announced it. Fourteen years later, 1 500 staff are employed across operations and administration of the Gautrain project, and we have managed to maintain an average of more than 90% availability and punctuality across all Gautrain services.

“The Gautrain’s transport network includes 10 stations that connect Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and OR Tambo International Airport, 96 rail cars, a fleet of 125 heavy-haul buses, and 29 midi-buses. The Gautrain…is the first and only rapid rail network in the country, and it was the first public-private partnership of its scale in South Africa when it was launched,” he notes.