Gautrain to get smarter
Gautrain commuters will soon benefit from two significant upgrades to the rail system, which are currently being implemented.
The first is the extension of the platform at the O.R. Tambo International Airport Station, which should be completed mid-2016. This will allow passengers to embark or disembark from a full four-car train set, which at present is limited to two cars. The extension is being implemented to make provision for future capacity options.
Also in for an upgrade is the Gautrain ticketing system, which will comply with national ticketing regulations and simultaneously offer additional functionalities to users.
Gautrain passengers with a contactless Gold Card will have the choice of topping up their cards online or with a mobile smartphone. In addition, users will be able to access the Gautrain services with their local or international bank-issued contactless credit and debit cards that are compliant with the Europay/MasterCard and Visa standard.
The upgrade will cover the entire Gautrain network, including train stations, buses and parking. With the proposed upgrades, most of the cards used for the recently implemented bus rapid transit (BRT) ticketing systems in Gauteng will also be accepted by Gautrain services.
The project will be rolled out progressively, starting with a pilot on the East/West link between O.R. Tambo International Airport and the Sandton Station. It is planned to be fully operational in 2017.
“The main objective of the ticketing upgrade is to facilitate the implementation of the province’s integrated fare systems, whereby public transport users will be able to use one smartcard to access different modes of public transport,” says Ismail Vadi, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport.
“Our goal is to make public transport more accessible, convenient and integrated. The Gautrain ticketing enhancement will provide momentum towards achieving the objective of “One Province – One Ticket,” Vadi emphasises.