Fancy Gautrain a dead end for most commuters: iLIVE
Crispian Olver wonders why so few people use the Gautrain to reach the Johannesburg CBD ("Be part of the change", June 19).
First, it's because of the cost. Gautrain fares are exorbitant compared with alternative transport.
Walking a few hundred metres or cycling a few kilometres to where the Gautrain doesn't go is all very well in good weather, but when it rains, I would prefer to rely on my "four-wheel raincoat".
To justify Gautrain fares with toll-road logic ("it cost X-billion rand to build, and that has to be paid back. Sorry, but you're just the sucker we've allocated to pay for it all") just does not cut it.
The man in the street will always ask why such an unaffordable and fancy option was chosen in the first place.
And why it is largely restricted to covering the snob areas of northern Johannesburg?
Before the public transport option becomes remotely acceptable, it needs to provide an affordable door-to-door service on a schedule that suits most commuters.
I used to work in Wadeville, Germiston and I resided in the southern suburbs of Boksburg. By car , this was a 15-minute journey, maximum, in peak-hour traffic.
By public transport, it involved two bus rides plus one train trip, taking about an hour and 15 minutes in total.
Can anyone seriously expect me to choose public transport in such circumstances?
Sorry, Crispian, but irrespective of how many pages you cover with your "green" ink, a lot needs to happen before things change in our transport system.
It will take more than having President Jacob Zuma, supplied with bodyguards, trying to prove some obscure propaganda point by taking a trip from Pretoria to Soweto using Metrorail, Gautrain and Rea Vaya.