Gautrain bus service struggles to attract commuters
The Gautrain bus system has been struggling to attract commuters and has been operating at its bare minimum especially during off-peak hours.
The Bombela Operating Company (BOC) which runs the Gautrain's railway and bus service said by the end of 2012, the Gautrains were carrying 41 000 people a day while the bus system carried 15 000, Saturday Star reported.
Spokesperson for BOC, Kelebogile Machaka, told the newspaper that while the off-peak demand for the bus service was low, the same applied to any public transport service.
"It's the reason that you also see fewer minibus taxis and metro buses on the roads between 9am and 2pm. The Metrorail as well as SAA's domestic flight services are no different," she was quoted as saying.
Transport expert Vaughn Mostert who has been informally monitoring the Gautrain commuter numbers said the situation was "frightening and appalling" especially because of the money which was spent on the system.
"If you divide 15 000 passengers by 125 buses Gautrain operates on all routes daily you will recognise that this comes to only 120 people per bus per day.
"If you break it down further it gives you an average of 10 people per trip one way," he was quoted as saying.
Mostert said the buses needed to reach more areas.
The buses were currently operating in major residential suburbs and working districts between Pretoria and Johannesburg. – Sapa