Gauteng’s public transport system is currently undergoing something of a revolution, beginning with the Gautrain and the Rea Vaya bus-rapid transit system.
The Gautrain rapid rail link is the first rapid rail network in Africa. The rail connection comprises two links, one between Tshwane and Johannesburg and the other between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton.
The system offers a fast, convenient, safe and efficient public transport service. It takes 15 minutes to travel from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport on the Gautrain and 35 minutes from Tshwane to Park Station in Johannesburg.
In 2014, the Gautrain’s airport service (Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport) was improved with earlier trains in the mornings and later trains in the evenings.
The Gautrain is well patronised by residents and tourists alike on its Pretoria to Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport route, with Rea Vaya buses extending routes into the suburbs.
However, driving still remains the order of the day in Gauteng, and renting a car, or using metered cabs, is very much advised. South Africans drive on the left side of the road.
If you find yourself in the CBD, you should orientate yourself from the main transport hub of Park Station. From there, take a taxi to your destination. The trips are not for the faint-hearted, as taxis can travel at high speed and stop wherever passengers wish to disembark – usually with little warning. A system of hand signals is used to indicate your desired destination.
Reach Soweto by boarding a Rea Vaya bus at Park Station. Buses run every five to 16 minutes during the week and every 20 to 30 minutes on weekends. Once in Soweto, stick to Vilakazi Street, where there are rich pickings in terms of sights, history and restaurants, as well as the Mandela Museum.
At the beginning of your foray into the suburb of Sandton, it is likely that you will find yourself at the Sandton Gautrain Station (15 minutes' journey from Park Station). From there, you can catch a feeder bus into the suburbs, or hail a metered cab, which is a safe and convenient option.
Cradle of Humankind
Gauteng’s secondary airport, Lanseria, is 30km north-west of the CBD and is used by an increasing number of budget airlines. Minibus taxis and metered cabs don’t tend to wait at this airport, so either arrange a transfer with your accommodation, or rent a car. Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, is a 30-minute from Lanseria.
You can arrive in Tshwane quite easily using the Gautrain from OR Tambo International Airport (45 minutes). Once you disembark from the train, you will need to hail a metered cab, a taxi, or pre-arrange with your accommodation to have a shuttle meet you. You will need to rent a car to explore Tshwane, or use the services of a cab.
Ekurhuleni, Vaal and Dinokeng
For ease of movement around these hubs, one should either rent a car or simply join a tour.
However there are developments underway to extend the catchment area of Gautrain in Rhodesfield, Ekurhuleni.