A proposed expansion to the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link Network will see new stations being built in Randburg, Roodepoort, Little Falls, Soweto and at the Lanseria Airport over the next twenty years, reports BusinessTech.
According to data regarding road use in Gauteng, it’s expected that the number of vehicles on Gauteng’s roads will increase from 3.9 million in 2014 to 8.6 million by 2037. This increase would also affect peak-hour traffic, which would slow to 41km/h by 2025, and 23km/h by 2037. This would naturally cause chaos on the roads and shows a desperate need for an increase in public transport options in the province.
The proposed expansion is aimed at alleviating the growing issue of traffic on Gauteng roads. Gautrain plans to directly address this issue with a proposed expansion plan that will see 211,000 jobs created as well as a R19 billion procurement spend on black-owned entities.
At present, Gautrain’s network spans 80km across 10 different stations from Hatfield to Park Station, and from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport. The existing network, which opened in 2011, had already completed close to 80 million passenger trips by 2017.
The feasibility study which was conducted for the proposed extension plan has been submitted to the National Treasury and is currently awaiting Treasury Approval 1 (TA1) for phase 1 of the project. Phase 1 will see the construction of the route between Marlboro and Little Falls, which will include new stations at Sandton, Randburg, Cosmo City, and Little Falls.
The entire proposed extension project has been split up into five different phases, the fifth of which will include a new link to the airport route at Lanseria Airport via Cosmo City and the Cradle of Humankind. By the time the project is completed, there will be 19 new stations from as far south-west as Jabulani in Soweto, right up to Mamelodi in Pretoria and right down to Boksburg in the south.
The new stations will be in/at Boksburg, East Rand Mall, Modderfontein, Sandton (a second station), Randburg, Cosmo City, Roodepoort, Little Falls, Jabulani, Lanseria Airport, the Cradle of Humankind, Fourways, Sunninghill, Olievenhoutsbosch, Samrand, Irene, Tshwane East, Hazeldean, and Mamelodi.
To truly grasp the magnitude of the proposed expansion project, take a look at the current Gautrain network:
This is what the network will look like once Phase 5 has been completed:
It should be noted, however, that when Gauteng MEC for transport Ismail Vadi spoke to Talk Radio 702 on Monday, he said that the Gautrain expansion plans may have given the impression that the project is moving along swiftly, which is not yet the case.
More work needs to be done regarding the financial modelling of the expansion project before any construction can take place. The feasibility study was submitted in April last year, and word on approval is expected later this year.