Three games, three modes of transport
Leave your car—public transport wins hands down in Jozi, writes Maya Fisher-French
Metrorail: The clear winner
Heading for a Soccer City game we took an easy drive into Park Station with secure parking. As you enter the station, volunteers guide you to the correct platform.
The train arrived and departed perfectly on time, and as we trundled along we watched the traffic at a standstill on the highway; and all aboard agreed we are very sensible people for taking the train.
We arrived at the Nasrec station within half an hour and walk the two minutes to the stadium relaxed and excited.
The same experience leaving. We caught the first train half an hour after the end of the match. Apparently there are four trains, each with the capacity to shuttle 1 800 people back to Park Station.
We again left perfectly on time and arrived at Park Station half an hour later. The only glitch was leaving the parking lot at rush hour in town—a metro cop is needed on duty.
Time: One-and-a-half hours from the time the game ended to arriving home.
Cost: Free parking, free ride if you have a ticket for the game—definitely the best value for money
We met people who had travelled on Metrorail from Pretoria, so check out the full routes: www.metrorail.co.za
Rea Vaya: An efficient service
Heading for Ellis Park, we parked at Carlton Centre, where there was plenty of safe parking, and the guard immediately guided us to the exit and pointed to the Rea Vaya station.
Make sure you take the Eastbound bus if you are headed for Ellis Park, as it is a separate station from the Westbound, which is the return station. But it is clearly marked.
The Rea Vaya bus arrived within five minutes—a bus arrives every 10 to 15 minutes depending on the route. We enjoyed the trip through town and arrived 15 minutes later at Ellis Park.
A bit of confusion on the return trip because we were told we could catch the Rea Vaya on the other side of the stadium, which was closer to our seats. That was incorrect; make sure you go back to the station you were dropped off at.
Rows of buses were ready to collect fans and a police car arrived during the return trip to chase taxis out the way. We missed our stop because they are not clearly marked, so be aware. We had to walk about four blocks back to our parking at 6.30pm with two small children through town. We felt completely safe, what an experience.
There was no driver strike on that day, and hopefully that issue will be resolved for the next game.
Time: From the time the game ended to being at home: one hour.
Cost: R12 return ticket, parking R25.
There are many places to catch the Rea Vaya, so check out routes: www.reavaya.org.za.
Park and Walk: Never again
We drove to Soccer City and parked at the Aeroton Park and Walk. It took two hours to get from Rosebank to Nasrec, and then another half an hour to walk to the stadium. Arrived very stressed and irritated.
This was the opening match and there was more traffic on the roads than expected, but judging from the traffic reports for other games the offramps remain a major problem.
Leaving the game was just as bad. We got a bit lost trying to find the parking, along with many other fans, so this is clearly an issue, And then it took an hour to get out of the parking because there was just one lane for the exit.
Time: From the end of the game to arriving at home: 2,5 hours.
Cost: R50 parking, plus a lot of petrol from idling on the highway.
Although we have not tried Park and Ride, we have heard mixed reports from friends, some good, some bad. We are just going to stick to the public transport from now on.
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