The commuter rail service from Pretoria to Kempton Park has resumed its commercial service, bringing the number of recovered lines by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to 20.
Commuters can now save on their travel costs, as a trip from Pretoria to Kempton Park costs just R9.50, while Pretoria to Germiston is R11.50, and Pretoria to Olifanstfontein at R8.50.
“The resumption of this service takes us a step closer towards running the service between the three big metros in Gauteng. Soon, trains will be running from Pretoria to Ekurhuleni, and all the way to Johannesburg Park Station, reflecting the interconnectedness between our metros,” PRASA Group CEO, Hishaam Emeran, said.
Thursday’s resumption of the commercial service followed the necessary permit from the Railway Safety Regulator. The agency introduced the service with the new modern high-tech trains from Pretoria to Kempton Park, with a service available from Kempton Park to Germiston station at both peak and off-peak.
The affordable services are expected to ease the burden of travel costs on commuters, many of whom are from the lower LSM groups, spending up to 40% of their household income on transport.
PRASA said it has gained ground in its efforts to rebuild passenger rail corridors and move commuters on the new blue modern trains, Isitimela Sabantu.
To date, 20 lines have been recovered out of 40, with trains now running on 26 operational lines in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The organisation has made significant progress in rehabilitating vandalised stations, with a total of 230 stations refurbished to basic functionality.
“The number of reopened lines and those earmarked for reopening tells the story of solid progress in returning passenger rail to its rightful place as the future backbone of public transport. By the end of this financial year, PRASA will have recovered 80% of the passenger rail corridors and lines, while bringing to our people a modernized passenger train experience,” Emeran said.
Source: South African Government News Agency