A dedicated Rail Enforcement Unit will be introduced at the Metrorail network this week to ensure the safety of passengers and increase security measures at all stations.

Member of the Mayoral Committee: Transport & Urban Development, Brett Herron, explains the implementation of the Rail Enforcement Unit was a result of an agreement reached by Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), the City and the provincial government.

“This is an unprecedented and unique intervention that was discussed with Prasa over many years. Prasa‚ the City and the province are co-funding this unit – a one of its kind intervention in our country which we fought for relentlessly,” Herron said.

The City’s Rail Enforcement Unit will be under the control of its safety and security management. The unit will ensure the safety of commuters and work towards reducing opportunities for crime and the vandalism of Metrorail infrastructure.

Railway Safety Regulatory Service 

The implementation of the Rail Enforcement Unit comes after a court order issued by the Railway Safety Regulatory of South Africa (RSR) was placed on Prasa this August, calling to increase safety measures of the transport service.

The RSR later decided to retract their suspension notice on Prasa, ensuring that commuters are still able to use the service.

Herron shared his concerns of the rooted problems still prevalent with the Metrorail service.

“On the other hand‚ the safety concerns and service conditions that led the Rail Safety Regulator to issue Prasa with a notice of intention to withdraw its operating permit prevail. Those unsafe and horrifying conditions have not been resolved overnight and remain. So the problem has not been resolved‚” Herron said

He went on to stress that the implementation of the Rail Enforcement Unit is not the sole solution to the problem and has called on transport minister, Blade Nzimande, to establish additional safety measures.

“The minister and his department must intervene to bring extra resources to restore Metrorail’s rolling stock capacity urgently and to bring additional safety and crime prevention resources to the network,” he said.

The Metrorail service is currently operating with less than 40 train sets but requires at least 88 train sets to meet commuters demands.

 

Picture: City of Cape Town

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.