During the Covid-19 lockdown, we were all itching to travel again – and many of us would have used the Gautrain to do so. 

On November 19 this year, 10 teams of two people each got to do just that as they raced against each other along the Gautrain network to experience the speed, efficiency, convenience and comfort of the service. 

The race started at the Midrand station. Teams followed clues that led them to various locations around Gauteng. Each team’s progress was tracked from a studio with live crossings to the various Gautrain stations as participants arrived and departed. 

Viewers could help decipher the clues and also won some amazing prizes. 

At the end of the race, the winning team (Cecil Mkhabela and Malingana Mathoma) arrived at the Sandton station to be welcomed by the Gauteng Management Agency senior management team, demonstrating the Gautrain’s reliability in transporting the public in the shortest, safest way possible.

Safety and convenience

At the event, staged in partnership with TimesLIVE, William Dachs, CEO of the Gautrain Management Agency, said the Gautrain had put health protocols in place to keep travellers safe, including the provision of sanitisers and ensuring social distancing.

The Gautrain was established more than a decade ago to provide efficient public transport in Gauteng and alleviate road congestion. It has transformed transport in the province through smart mobility, said Dachs.

It is integrated with other modes of public transport and its integrated service requires just one ticket for the bus, train and senior service. 

Tshepo Kgobe, chief operating officer at the agency, said the Gautrain offered guaranteed departure and arrival times, listed on the Gautrain app. 

Cards can be bought at Gautrain ticket offices and pre-registered on the app, but passengers can also now use any tap-enabled or contactless Mastercard or Visa card, as well as wearable devices. 

In partnership with Varsity Vibe, the Gautrain is currently offering students a 25% discount. Students need to be verified by Varsity Vibe before they can register as a student and receive the discount, which is part of the Gautrain social investment programme. 

Barbara Jensen-Vorster, communication and marketing senior executive manager at the Gautrain Management Agency, said the Gautrain was a powerful local brand making South Africans proud.