For thousands of Capetonians, a severely-crowded train commute is a daily reality.
Videos have surfaced over the past several months, showing extreme overcrowding on Metrorail trains, particularly on the Cape Flats and Northern Suburbs lines.
Metrorail Commuters – Cape Town is a Facebook group which sees many reports of overcrowding, cable theft and crime on most days, but in recent times overcrowding is being flagged as an increasing issue for passengers travelling to and from work.
Metrorail’s Western Cape spokesperson, Riana Scott, said the effects of vandalism had caused the heavy over crowding.
“This illustrates the devastating effect of arson and vandalism on the region’s train fleet since October 2015,” she said.
“The loss of 101 train carriages, with an estimated replacement value of R312m, is the main contributor to the region operating with 60% of its fleet, punctuality dropping by more than 20%, and cancellations soaring,” said Scott.
The City was given the green light by Council in October 2017 to proceed with its plans to take over management of passenger rail service. The Metrorail infrastructure has been dilapidated for some time causing disruptions and mayhem for commuting workers.
Metrorail warned that unless the crime and social problems that are spilling into its network are dealt with, all of its measures to replace carriages and build fences along railway lines will come to nothing.
South Africa: An overcrowded metrorail train with passengers travels through the central line in Cape Town reaching Netreg station hours after its arrival time. 21-11-2017 pic.twitter.com/2Ln5vcAiJZ
— Rowan Van Dijk (@Lastkombo) November 21, 2017