Commuters used to filthy, overcrowded trains, which often arrive late and lack adequate security, now have an alternative — the Soweto Business Express.
Launched in July this year, the Soweto Business Express operates during peak hours, travelling between Naledi in Soweto and Johannesburg Park Station in less than 45 minutes. There are two trains every morning and evening during peak hours.
The train forms part of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC) initiative to provide a safe and professional service for commuters.
The Soweto Express seats 530 people and coffee and newspapers are available to passengers. Guards inside the train ensure high security. Commuters pay R12 for daily tickets, R80 for a weekly ticket and R310 for the month, although other trains cost only R80 for a month.
Nkosinathi Mchunu from Naledi said he uses Soweto Express. ‘It’s convenient and there’s more space, you get to work easily unlike in other trains where you stand. Here you get free papers and the security is very high and crew members treat us well,” he said.
Depending on the reception from commuters, the Soweto Business Express may be expanded.