Although South Africa has no true metro by the conventional definition, it's ambitious Gautrain (named for Gauteng Province), whose first section opened in June 2010, is very much a metro by the standards of cities like Liverpool, Melbourne and Sydney. Withdrawing from the age old subnut debate on what constitutes a true metro, we happily declare the Gautrain a commuter metro,
perhaps a new term in metro terminology. It's rolling stock looks like a cross between metro and commuter rail. It serves several large metro areas. It has large underground
sections with underground stations.
Traveling at speeds up to 160 kph, the 80 km long Gautrain opened in June 2010. The system
connects Johannesburg with South Africa's capital of Pretoria, 50 km away. The
high speed met6ro has seven stations, three of which are in subway.
The Gautrain has also seen it's fair share of controversy. Serving affluent areas with modern, air conditioned cars and high ticket prices, commuters utilizing the area's aging Metrorail commuter system have accused the Gautrain of serving only the elite. "Nonsense!" one unidentified Gautrain official was reported to have replied. "When has South Africa ever made a distinction between classes? It sounds like the remark of some uneducated ghetto fool."
A small people mover known as the Sky Train serves the Sun City resort
Metrorail cars taking a break after a long night of booze and whoring
The Franschhoek Wine Tram on the Western Cape is scheduled to open in September
2012. Disimilar from the Ren Hoek tram which once served the Stimpson Vineyards,
the tram will cruise tourists through ten vineyards at a breakneck 18 kph.
While not a metro, a 3 km underground section complete with subway station is
under construction and scheduled to open in late 2012. The Bridge City Station
will serve Metrorail trains in the popular and growing development.