The green off-peak discounts were an incentive for commuters to explore flexible commuting hours.

The green off-peak discounts were an incentive for commuters to explore flexible commuting hours.

Gautrain on Friday announced several revisions to its fare structure which will come into effect on Sunday, June 1.

The Gautrain would introduce a multitiered fare structure offering discounts of up to 30% between peak red and off-peak green train fares, while commuters in the intermediate orange period would enjoy a 10% discount from the peak red fare, explained Bombela Concession Company operations executive Errol Braithwaite.

He said the increase in the off-peak discount was part of an ongoing strategy to grow overall patronage by incentivising off-peak travel.

The Gautrain system had been struggling with overcrowding during peak periods, as year-on-year train patronage had grown by nearly 30%.

Aside from the altered fare structure, options to extend parking facilities at Rhodesfield,Rosebank, Midrand, Centurion and Pretoria stations were already being considered.

The change in fare structure was also being implemented in tandem with the introduction of additional train capacity during peak periods. On April 22 this year, Gautrain introduced another eight-car train in both the morning and afternoon peak periods to address growing demand.

Red fares would only be applicable during the morning peak hour (06:30 to 07:30), and also only in the peak demand directions, namely south-bound and west-bound.

The new structure would see orange fares increase by between 5% and 9% on the previous year’s standard fares, with the aim of making shorter trips more attractive.

The green off-peak discounts were an incentive for commuters to explore flexible commuting hours and would apply to pay-as-you-go fares where the commuter entered the system on weekdays before 06h00; between 08:30 and 15:30; or after 18:00.

A passenger who bought a pay-as-you-go ticket for a single trip from Hatfield Station, in Tshwane, to Park Station, in Johannesburg – the longest possible trip on the Gautrain – would now pay R68 during the red peak period, R62 during the orange period and R49 during the green off-peak period.

Period products would also continue to offer benefits to regular commuters, with trips on a 35-day ticket (44 trips) offering a 24% discount (on average), and those on a 7-day ticket (ten trips), a 17% discount compared with the red peak period fare.

Bus fares would remain unchanged.

Airport-service train fares were set to increase by R10 a trip, while the daily parking tariff would increase by R3, from R15 to R18.

The new fare structure aimed to promote balanced use of the trains, buses and parking facilities and to ensure that the Gautrain remained price-attractive to its respective target markets, particularly private vehicle users, said Braithwaite.

So far this year monthly train punctuality and availability “had consistently exceeded 98%”, with weekday train patronage now regularly exceeding 56 000 passengers a day, and bus patronage at around 22 000 passengers a day.