Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
For every R1 spent on the Gautrain, the province has received R1.72 back.

This is made up through the reduction of traffic accidents, carbon dioxide emissions, congestion and road maintenance as well as the ease of transportation of freight. Furthermore, spend on the Gautrain has accounted for 0.28% the Gauteng GDP which stands at around 2%.

Each trip on the Gautrain instead of using a car delivers R78 in economic benefits.

These results were released on Monday by MEC for transport Jacob Mamabolo. They are taken from a recent study conducted by Hatch to find what the benefits of the Gautrain project had been. Hatch is a global management, engineering and development consultancy.

The study found 3800 direct jobs were created for women during the construction phase and 3000 during operations.

Another 20300 direct jobs were created during construction for youth and 5800 during operations.

Some 29900 direct jobs had also been provided for historically disadvantaged people during construction and 10100 during operations.

The MEC was taken on a train ride and visit to the Gautrain operations centre, as well as to a number of stations.

Mamabolo said he was “blown away” by what he found in terms of security, safety of passengers, the knowledge of drivers and staff, the politeness and helpfulness of staff, good governance and efficiency.

Now that he had seen the project personally, he would motivate for more funding to build future phases of the project which are already in the pipeline.

“I cannot believe what I saw. Metrorail should be benchmarking itself with the Gautrain. It’s of international quality and it demonstrates how government, in partnership with the private sector, can run efficient and well-managed services,” he said

The MEC noted that 66000 vehicles had been taken off the roads every day by those using the train. It was found that 77% of the commuters who used the train owned vehicles.

This project was not just about transport, he said, but about the promotion of tourism, which had increased, and the increase in development around the stations. Some 59% of all office development activity in major Gauteng nodes is now near Gautrain stations.

In just a two-kilometre radius of each station, 66000 jobs will be created.

“This is proof that the project is attracting investment and integrating the region and its communities.

“It’s attracting more international investment. Over R44billion of foreign direct investment into Gauteng between 2013 and 2016 was due to the Gautrain,” he said.

After seven years of operations, and close to 97 million passenger trips, the Gauteng government had shown that public transport could be changed.

Mamabolo said he wanted to see not only the Gautrain, but Metrorail rail, as the backbone of the province’s economy.

“If cars are not taken off the roads, the congestion will result in motorists only being able to travel at an average of 10km/* . Each rand spent on the Gautrain contributes directly towards our economy,” he added.

@annacox