Recently,Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, led 112 Grade 7 learners from Progress Primary School in Lenasia on an educational tour of the Gautrain rail system.
Excited learners embarked on their journey with a Gautrain bus ride from the school to Park Station in central Johannesburg, where they boarded the Gautrain on a high speed trip to Pretoria Central Station.
“I had promised the school earlier this year that we would take the senior learners on an excursion to understand our public transport system,” said Vadi. “The best way to do it was to link the school trip to the celebration of Youth Month. ”
Learners were told how the public transport system works in the province and the links between the Gautrain, Metrorail, and the Rea Vaya and the Gautrain busses.
Each learner was given a personal copy of the award-winning Gautrain booklet entitled,” Sibo on the Move”, which explains how the Gautrain works. The children learned that Gautrain passengers use electronic tickets to pay for train trips and that the train moves at a speed of 160km/h. The travel time between Johannesburg and Pretoria is only 40 minutes.
For many learners this was their first experience of the Gautrain. Some said it was the first time ever that they had sat in a train. They said that the experience was so different and safe compared to the taxis that take them to school every day.
Progress Primary School Principal, Myan Naidoo, said that the learners loved the trip. “For many of them it was their first time on the Gautrain and they couldn’t stop talking about the speed, the cleanliness and the safety of the train. It really opened their eyes to public transport”.
Mr Naidoo thanked the Gautrain team that had facilitated the educational excursion for the learners from his school.