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Gautrain – A Smart Mobility anchor for Gauteng

Smart mobility is an innovative way of getting around.

It is about using technology to respond to the modern commuter’s needs such as the demand for convenience, access to information always, a high tech-adoption rate, time and cost savings and increasing environmentally consciousness with various benefits.  It promotes sustainable mobility and is coupled with numerous urban, social, economic and environmental benefits. Here’s list of smart mobility focus areas and how Gautrain contributes to each one:


Gautrain uses smart technology.  Amongst its various technological service offerings, Gautrain also offers its passengers the opportunity to use their credit or debit cards to tag in and out of stations, buses and parking facilities. This means they no longer need a Gautrain card. This “tap and go” technology is the first phase of a broader “smart ticketing” plan that will extend to other public transport modes with incentives such as interoperator discounts or rebates.


The Gautrain contributes to the green economy and it is currently pursuing a sustainable urban mobility plan, which will include procuring new buses with an integrated chassis, meaning it will be possible to convert them to run on electric, hydrogen or hybrid power.

Investigations are underway into using and even producing hydrogen to power Gautrain buses – a far cleaner fuel option than diesel. Passengers may soon be able to charge their electric or hybrid car at Gautrain stations, which will also be retrofitted with solar panels to offset their power requirements. This green mobility plan will also help commuters to offset their carbon footprint.


Since its inception as a smart public transport mode, Gautrain has maintained high levels of operational efficiency. The train service operations achieved an average availability of 99.66% and punctuality of 98.11% over the last year. This was backed by excellent personal and property safety and security within the System keeping incidents below a 1% level. Safety and security targets for Gautrain passengers are met through the security enhancement plans.

Environmental benefits

Compared to road transport, rail provides lower carbon transport solutions to promote a greener Gauteng. According to the Centre for Transport Excellence public transport especially rail transport especially rail, produces less carbon emissions compared to the private car.


Currently 70% of trips on the Gautrain cross a city boundary linking important attractions, facilities and services across the region. Gautrain allows people to access these quickly, efficiently and safely. 

Evidence demonstrates that integrated, multi-modal transport systems have several benefits, including increased patronage from mode shift, more reliable and faster journeys resulting in time savings, time savings on business related trips translating into increased productivity and more efficient use of existing resources and travel savings.

Social and Economic benefits

Rolling out the full Gauteng Rapid Rail Integrated Network (GRRIN) extensions will give workers more access to employment opportunities. It is projected that phase one of the extensions will create 28,997 jobs during construction and an additional 7 729 long-term jobs will be created during the operational phase.

The GRINN will give workers more access to employment opportunities. It is projected that phase one of the extensions will create close to 29,000 jobs during construction and an additional 7,729 long-term jobs during start of its operations. The GRINN Phase 1’s project is also expected to invest approximately R388 million skills development during the construction phase and a further R29 million during operations of the phase.  Phase 1 economic benefits arising from the construction and operation of GRRIN is estimated at total present value of R33 billion.

Spatial development benefits

The spatial structuring nature of transport infrastructure has been a unique feature of investments in transport. Land use changes occur as market forces influence changes in property use to the optimal purpose, which in turn could lead to increases in values, rents and therefore rateable income.

A key feature of urban spatial transformation is densification in nodal development areas and precincts and intensification along rail corridors. The first indicator is the increased demand for residential property surrounding stations. This increases the rates revenue of municipalities and reduces the cost of providing basic services. Studies done by the Financial and Fiscal Commission showed that “compact cities are considerably more efficient than the current sprawling form of South African cities, with savings to the state, households and the environment. Approximately 59% of all office development activity in major South African nodes is located around Gautrain stations.  Gautrain is making a significant contribution to creating a larger and more economically powerful Gauteng region.

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