The Gautrain system will, in the next few months, go out on tender for a number of buses additional to its existing fleet, says Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe.
“We would look at deploying smaller buses on additional routes, as well as some larger, more fuel-efficient buses. We would like to expand the current Gautrain bus fleet.”
Around 22 000 people make use of the Gautrain bus system per weekday. Gautrain ridership stands at 64 000 people a day.
Most people prefer to drive to the Gautrain stations, and use the train from there.
However, warns, Van der Merwe, “we are building additional parking spaces but, at some point, we will run out of space and people will have to take the bus”.
The new buses will be acquired from funds saved from the current bus fleet budget, he adds.
The original tender for Gautrain buses was priced per bus-kilometer travelled a day, and not per bus. The funds from kilometres not travelled belong to the GMA. Some routes have also been halted since the Gautrain’s inception in 2010.
“We have managed to save R60-million, and will now use the funds to build a more efficient service,” says Van der Merwe.
EDITED BY: CREAMER MEDIA REPORTER