Sunday, August 11, 2013

Johannesburg Gautrain: Convenient And Cost-Effective

The Gautrain, located in Gauteng Province, is the quite-new 80-kilometer (50 mi) mass rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, and JNB (OR Tambo Airport).

We used it on our arrival to travel from the airport to Sandton Station, where we called for a Hilton shuttle van to pick us up.

We plan it to use it today to travel back to Rhodesfield Station, adjacent to the Protea Hotel where we meet our tour group this evening and stay overnight before an early departure tomorrow morning. We confirmed that we can call from there and a Protea van will pick us up.

You first have to buy a non-refundable Gold Card for 10 Rand. You then load the card either at a machine or a ticket booth. We bought ours from a friendly employee in the ticket booth just to make sure we got it right.

There's a hefty surcharge to travel to or from the airport. Our trip from the airport to Sandton cost us 125 Rand each (just divide by 10 to roughly estimate the US$ value). Riding from Sandton back to Rhodesfield, one stop short of the airport, will cost us 25 Rand.

We intend to add 35 Rand to our cards, which should be enough to take us from Park Station, where we'll be arriving from Cape Town on the Premiere Classe Train toward the end of the month, all the way out to our final night's stay at the airport before flying to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe.

Organizing this is saving us three expensive cab rides through busy traffic, and probably some time too.

The Gautrain routes make it pleasingly straightforward and simple, as long as your destination isn't too far from a station.

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