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Gautrain, a high-speed rail network in South Africa, has completed 14 years of operations and. Gautrain Management Agency Chief Executive Officer Tshepo Kgobe noted that since it began operations on June 8, 2010, it has successfully completed around 192.8 million passenger trips.

The first ride of Gautrain commenced from the Sandton Station to O.R. Tambo International Airport during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"The idea of a high-speed rail network with an 80-kilometre route between the North, South, and East of the Gauteng province, sounded like a pipe dream to many when the Gauteng Provincial Government announced it," he said, SA News reported.

He added, "Fourteen years later, 1,500 staff are employed across operations and administration of the Gautrain project and we have managed to maintain an average of more than 90% availability and punctuality across all Gautrain services."

The Gautrain's network links 10 stations including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni, and O.R. Tambo International Airport. It has 96 rail cars (24 trains with 4 cars each), 125 heavy haul buses, and 29 midibuses.

The rail network is a pioneer in South African public transport, being the country's first and only rapid rail network. It was also the first large-scale Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in South Africa when it started, according to Kgobe.

On the 14th anniversary of Gautrain's launch and the year that marks 30 years of democracy and freedom of South Africa, the Gautrain Management Agency's CEO said that the rail network is more than just a transport project.

"It is playing a bigger role in transforming spaces, people, and the economy through mobility," he said. "The Gautrain has brought jobs, new skills, the easing of mobility for ordinary people, and major economic developments around stations."

He added, "It is estimated that R46 million total GDP [gross domestic product] impact has been added to the Gauteng Provincial Government economy and a total of 245,000 jobs have been created due to property development induced by the Gautrain."

Kgobe further explained that the Gautrain is a strategic national asset valued at R45 billion, adding that once the "current concession expires at the end of its 19.5-year term, the costs of establishing this long-term asset will have been paid off, allowing the Post 2026 Gautrain Project to reap the economic benefits."