Standing in a congested Gautrain during trips to work will soon be a thing of the past for commuters, as the Gauteng department of transport will in November announce the bidder awarded to construct 48 train coaches.
Speaking at the launch of October Transport Month at the Lyttelton municipal offices in Pretoria on Monday, Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi said the department needed to procure 48 new train coaches to meet the growing passenger demand.
“This is part of modernising and upgrading equipment of the Gautrain. Passenger demand is growing as we currently have 63 000 people using the Gautrain on a daily basis,” he said.
In addition to rail care, there will be an extension of depots to accommodate the additional trains, he said.
Addressing Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga, Vadi appealed for a sense of urgency in rolling out the A Re Yeng Bus Rapid Transport project as commuters were desperate for an alternative mode of transport.
The A Re Yeng buses routes, most still being constructed, currently only travel from the CBD to Hatfield.
“Our concern is, BRT systems are taking too long to roll out and our people deserve more efficient roll-out implementation of these systems. We want to get this system up and running as soon as possible.”
In launching Transport Month, Vadi, accompanied by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and Msimanga, did a walkabout around the train station in Pretoria to bring awareness to commuters of the new Passenger Rail Agency of SA trains, with a mock-up on display outside the Pretoria Gautrain Station.
She urged public transport drivers and passengers to take ownership and pride in the new infrastructure.
“I am happy with the prototype of the new trains and we want to educate commuters and the public on the love they should have for these trains. Commuters should not burn the trains when they are late, but should communicate with the service provider,” she told the media.
Vadi called for the public to use public transport every Friday in honour of Transport Month.
“It might be inconvenient but it will be an experience. Whether it is a taxi or train, though you may come from the suburbs and used to your own car, we urge you to take part in this experience.”