01 A survey was recently conducted pointing out that the majority of female Gautrain passengers are female. Commuter Anthea Oliphant (Second from left) says she feels safer on the Gautrain. Picture: Antoine de Ras, 04/04/2012

Johannesburg -

The new Transport Minister Ben Martins should urgently investigate the reasons why so few people use the Gautrain, it was reported on Wednesday.

DA transport spokesman Ian Ollis MP, said the low usage meant taxpayers were having to pay nearly R300 million a year to the Gautrain's operators, Beeld reported.

The government had provided a guarantee that it would pay the shortfall if the Gautrain's passenger requirements were not met.

The Gautrain needed 110 000 passengers a day to break even, but was transporting only between 38 000 and 40 000 passengers a day.

Ollis said the government's last payment to the Gautrain group was R330 million.

“When one looks at the passenger figures, these payments can be expected to continue for many years to come,” Ollis said. - Sapa