gautrain route
Route quotes for mid-morning on a weekday.
  • If you are in Sandton, using the Gautrain to get the airport remains cheaper than using a taxi.
  • But by getting out at Rhodesfield, and hailing a taxi from there to OR Tambo, you can save more than R60 on your trip. 
  • It will take a bit more time and effort.

For much of Gauteng, using the Gautrain to get to OR Tambo airport remains cheaper than hailing a taxi.

On a weekday mid-morning, a Gautrain ticket from Sandton to the airport cost us R158, compared to more than R300 to get there with Uber and at least R220 with Bolt (previously known as Taxify).

But with a little more time and effort, you can slash the cost of that train ticket by up to half.

It’s simple: Get off at the Rhodesfield stop and hail a taxi from there to the airport.

Here’s how the numbers play out:

Gautrain ticket from Sandton to airport: R158

Alternatively:

Gautrain ticket from Sandton to Rhodesfield: R39

Taxi trip from Rhodesfield to airport: R55 (Uber) or R42.51 (Bolt)

Total cost: R94 (Uber) or R81.51 (Bolt)

Total saving: R64 (Uber) or R76.49 (Bolt)

If you took the Gautrain from the Pretoria station, and got off at Rhodesfield station (cost: R76), your total cost would be R118.51 with Bolt. This will be almost R65 cheaper than taking the Gautrain the whole way.

The saving gets even bigger if you share a taxi with other travellers.

If four of you split a Bolt taxi, the total cost of travelling from Sandton to the airport (via a Rhodesfield taxi) will only be R50 per person - a massive R138 saving for each of you.

There are of course two other considerations: time and effort.

The total trip time on the Gautrain, from Sandton to the airport, is around 20 minutes.

From Sandton to Rhodesfield, it will take about 14 minutes. Our Uber gave an estimated drop off time within 11 minutes, from the moment of ordering. So at the very least, your trip will be five minutes longer – with traffic, it could be longer still.

The extra effort is more difficult to quantify. If you have a couple of bags and small children with you, schlepping to the taxi stand, and then getting out at the airport drop-off, may not make it worth your while.

The hack also only works one way: The Gautrain ticket from OR Tambo to Rhodesfield is a cool R158. It won't make financial sense to hail a taxi from there back to Sandton.  

A Gautrain spokesperson told Business Insider South Africa that the company has not seen an increase in trips to Rhodesfield or an increase in passengers travelling from Rhodesfield to OR Tambo via taxis like Uber.

For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.

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