Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gautrain's Ticketing System

Having experienced the same issue with PUTCO buses, I must say I agree with the Gautrain customer whose questions to Gautrain were posted on Moneyweb. The questions were about the remaining trips that get expired after a month if one bought a monthly pass. Also, because customers never do trips on Saturdays and Sundays, they think that they are being ripped off which is the case with PUTCO buses. After reading the Gautrian's representative response, I thought she needed to go back to the drawing board and come back with a better answer. Interestingly enough, even similar questions are being asked in Hellopeter. Below is the question posed by the reader and the response from Gautrain

How Gautrain calculates its fares

Bombela gives answers, after a Community member asks if Gautrain saves you time, money?

I have some concerns regarding the Gautrain.

Firstly regarding the weekly and monthly passes for the
Gautrain...which I believe to be virtually useless. A monthly pass is only valid for one calendar month, and has 70 one way trips...thus 35 return trips to a single station...obviously meant to be for commuting to work. Now, I work from Mondays to Fridays, as most commuters/people do. Thus only, on average, will I need 21 return trips per month (21 week days per calendar month). Why would I want to go to the station my work is closest to on Saturdays and Sundays? Thus 14 return trips are totally useless and a waste of money as they fall over weekends.

Same goes for the weekly pass. Again, you need to use the weekly pass in seven consecutive days. Thus Monday to Sunday. Why on Earth would I want to go to work on Saturdays and Sundays? I mean seriously...who researched these options?

Then also, they say the
Gautrain is cheaper than the actual cost of a private car. I saw how they calculate that...petrol + maintenance + insurance...insurance??? Are they assuming because I am using the Gautrain, I no longer need to pay insurance on my car? Do they believe I am going to sell my car because I can take the train to work every weekday? This makes absolutely NO sense.

On Monday, June 14 2010, I also took the bus to
Sandton station to test how long it would take. It took me a ten minute walk to reach a bus station, climb up at the corner of Wessels and 12th Ave, and it took 20 minutes to reach the station. Assuming the train takes 30 minutes to get from Sandton station to Centurion (My commute would be from Centurion to Sandton Station), then another 20 minute bus trip to get from Centurion station to the corner of Hendrik Verwoerd and Rooihuiskraal (Where I believe the bus will drop me closest to my home) and then another ten minute walk...this adds up to roughly a total of 1 hour and 30 minutes to get home from work. To drive, from my work, to my home takes at most 1 hour.

Also, a diesel car makes it even cheaper to travel by private car. Thus, the
Gautrain is more expensive (by far) than a diesel car + petrol (diesel of course) and the coming toll gates (I refuse to incorporate insurance to this calculation as it makes no sense) AND on top of that...it is 30 minutes slower. The new wide highways makes sure of that fact...it's bliss driving home and to work with the new highway lanes!

Now I ask people with tears in my eyes...WHY would I pay more for a longer trip from Centurion to

Answer: Julia Keevy, technical analyst at Bombela

With regards to the fare structures, they have been designed by the Gauteng provincial government with the concessionaire in accordance with the contract and financial model. There is a fares review committee, which reviews the fare structures and fees on an ongoing basis. If changes are made, they will be released to the media. Thank you for feedback, your sentiments have been forwarded to the relevant parties.

Please note the fares have been designed taking into account international best practice, most transport systems around the world within a weekly (seven day) pass or a calendar month pass. Hence we have attempted to follow these best practice standards.

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