Gautrain vs driving: what’s more cost effective?


Gautrain vs driving: what’s more cost effective?



We do a comparison to see if it’s cheaper to travel on the Gautrain or in your car


Increased petrol prices are leading people to reconsider other ways of getting from A to B, and in Gauteng, the Gautrain is becoming an attraction option to save money - and time. But is this alternative any cheaper? Let’s break it down by looking at one scenario:

Angie works in Centurion, and drives there every workday from Parktown North, which is 43km away. She drives an Audi A2 2013 model, which runs at R3.61 per kilometre (petrol and running costs) according to the AA calculator. Angie drives 3km to the station every day, and it costs her R21 to park at the station each day. It costs her R2 170 to travel on the Gautrain each month from Rosebank to Centurion. From the station, Angie will take a Gautrain bus to reach work, 10 minutes away, which costs R8, the rate for one trip during peak hours (it’s R2 during non-peak hours).

Angie’s monthly costs (for 20 work days) on the Gautrain, including travel to and from the station, to and from Centurion, and to and from her workplace add up to R3 343. The total time it takes her from home to her office is around one hour, depending on her traffic to the station, and the time she waits for the bus.

If she travels to and from work every day, she’ll be driving 86km, which costs R6 209 a month. There will be tolls on the highway, which will amount to R20.99 each day return. Depending on traffic, it takes around 35 minutes to get to work. In total, she’ll spend R6 628, which is R3 328 more than if she travelled by Gautrain. However, she saves about half an hour of travel time each day, which could be significant if she bills per hour. On the other hand, since the N1 is busy and there are sometimes accidents which cause delays, the time spent in traffic could be costing her time and money.

(This figure doesn’t take into account the wear and tear of driving a new car – for example, the more mileage you put on your car, the quicker you wear down your tyres , the sooner your next service will be due. If you had an affordable MotorHappy Service or Maintenance Plan , you would be better able to prepare for those costs.)

As the example above shows, over longer distances the Gautrain can be an affordable alternative, although there are always trade-offs in terms of flexibility (do you need your car available at the office for work?) and timing.

If you don’t need your car during your work day and live and work close to Gautrain stations this is definitely an option worth considering, especially since you could read or do work on the train.There would be less benefit on a shorter trip for example Killarney to Sandton where parking (R21 a day) and train fare (R27 per one-way trip) would be more than driving from Killarney to Sandton.

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