The shiny-gold Gautrain (pronounced ‘How-train’) rapid rail service links Joburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport via two lines. The main line starts at Joburg Park Station and stops at Rosebank, Sandton, Marlboro (near Alexandra), Midrand, Centurion, central Pretoria and Hatfield. The second line travels from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport via Marlboro and Rhodesfield.
To use the service you need a Gautrain Gold Card, which you can buy and add money to at all Gautrain stations. Each Gautrain station is served by a network of Gautrain buses that link commuters with nearby suburbs.
Useful Gautrain bus routes include: Rosebank–Melrose Arch, Rosebank–Hyde Park, Park Station–Joburg CBD, Sandton–Montecasino and Midrand–Mall of Africa. Gautrain buses are also paid for using the Gold Card, and route maps can be viewed at each station. Note that Gautrain buses generally run at intervals of 20–40 minutes between 06:00–19:00 and do not run at weekends (except for the Montecasino–Sandton and Midrand–Mall of Africa routes). You need a minimum of R20 loaded on your Gold Card to access all Gautrain trains and buses. The last train to OR Tambo leaves Sandton at 21:04, the first at 04:50. The first trains leave Hatfield and Park Station at 05:30, the last at 20:30.
Gautrain hotline tel. +27 800 428 872 46, www.gautrain.co.za
The Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport system (BRT) boasts traffic-beating bus lanes and special enclosed bus stops with raised platforms and security staff. Currently the Rea Vaya runs between the City Centre and surrounds (including the city’s main university campuses) to destinations in Soweto such as Maponya Mall, FNB Stadium and Vilakazi Street.
To use the bus you need to register for a Smart Card at one of the Rea Vaya stations. Stops are around one kilometre or more apart from each other. Buses arrive every 10–20 minutes and most buses run between 05:30 and 18:30 (on some routes until 20:30).
Useful Rea Vaya bus routes include: C-3, a circular route through the City Centre stopping at major shopping and heritage landmarks such as Park Station, Joburg Art Gallery, the Fashion District, Carlton Centre and Wits Art Museum and the C-4 which leaves from Park Station and stops at 44 Stanley and Melville. For Vilakazi Street in Soweto take the T-2 from Park Station to Boomtown and then change to the F-4 bus.
Rea Vaya hotline tel. +27 860 562 874, www.reavaya.org.za