TRANSPORT preparations for the Confederation Cup took a giant step when the new Doornfontein Station was launched.
The station, worth R77million, was officially opened by Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin on a wet Johannesburg morning yesterday.
It took 18 months to build the station, which showcases "the new generation of railway stations in the country".
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) pronounced its readiness beginning on Sunday.
Prasa also signed a national supporter's agreement with Fifa executives Thierry Weil, Carl Monteiro, and Sabina Heus, who head Fifa's marketing and communications division.
Prasa chief executive Tshepo Montana described the launch as the beginning of great things for all Metrorail commuters.
"It is a huge step for our readiness for the Confed Cup. Montana said.
He said Prasa has allocated 28 trains to transport soccer fans to and from the stadium during the Confed Cup.
He also said that a total of 38000 tickets would be distributed to commuters for free on stations.
"We have 5000 rail police who will ensure safety during the tournament and 3000 of them have completed training," Montana said.
Cronin was also impressed with the station.
"Our aim is to make public transport so great that even the rich take pride in using it," he said.
"Among all the legacy projects from the 2010 Fifa World Cup, efficient public transport tops government priorities."
Metrorail has received a budget of R25 billion to upgrade the country's entire rail infrastructure.