05:00 – Entered parking.
05:15 – Passed boom gates (there was a huge delay as the parking ticketing machine was not working).
05:20 – Joined the ticketing queue. We stood here for 35 minutes. 1 Machine was not functioning and about 20 minutes later, another machine was closed for maintenance.
05:55 – Tickets purchased.
06:12 – Got on-board the Gautrain and headed to OR Tambo.
06:25 – Arrived at OR Tambo.
When I got to Sandton station, I was slightly irritated that the boom gates were not functioning, and to make matters worse, the ticket queues seemed to go on forever. Out of the 5 ticketing machines, 2 were, at some stage, not working, which made me wonder if getting up at 4am was worth it.
Things improved once I boarded the Gautrain. For the first time, I felt like a tourist in my own country. I took loads of pictures because this was a historic moment. I wanted to capture everything, if possible. Even the Gautrain gold card that I purchased has “launch edition” printed on it, to mark the occasion.
Then the Gautrain took off. I’ve used the London Underground before, so the experience wasn’t totally new to me. But, what an experience! I think the fact that I could get to the airport in 12 minutes in my own country is what really made it such a fantastic journey. I was thoroughly impressed.
The operations process had a few hiccups and was not 100% ready for the launch today, but in time everything will be ironed out. We now have a world-class public transport system that we can be proud of.
Video footage taken from OR Tambo International: