The newly formed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has launched a new intercity commuter express train service, connecting Pretoria and Johannesburg, on Monday.

This was the fifth service offering of this kind opened since 2007, when the idea of the luxury commuter train was first conceived with the launch of the Soweto Business Express. This was later followed by the Khayelitsha, Premium, and Tshwane Business Expresses.

The new 530-seater Business Express will, like its predecessor, play its trade in the Pretoria to Johannesburg corridor to complement the already packed Tshwane Business Express and address existing pockets of excess commuter demand in this route.

“The uptake of the service has been phenomenal and beyond our expectations hence the decision to launch the second Business Express on the Pretoria – Johannesburg corridor,” said Prasa CEO Lucky Montana.

Montana said that Prasa, and its parent company to Metrorail, was putting into action a five-year investment plan to improve the reliability and comfort of all its trains, facilities and the tracks.