Premier & Mobility Minister urge rail operators to put more trains back on track
Media release: Premier & Mobility Minister urge rail operators to put more trains back on track for the sake of commuters, jobs, and economy
Premier Alan Winde and Western Cape Minister of Mobility Ricardo Mackenzie caught a train from Cape Town to Bellville early this morning to see for themselves how the city and province’s train service is running.
“While there have been significant challenges many of which are ongoing, it is very encouraging to see Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Metrorail employees working hard to get our trains moving again. Rail is an especially critical mode of mobility. It is an economic enabler, getting people to and from work and school,” the Premier said while speaking to commuters during the trip.
Commuters were generally satisfied with the train service, but some stated they would like to see more security guards on coaches and more trips offered over weekends. PRASA officials explained this is being considered as more residents choose to use the train service.
The Central Line is gradually being brought back to life after nearly 3 years of it not being operational.
Currently there are 8 of the newer, more modern Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) trains, running on Cape Town’s tracks. The province looks forward to PRASA introducing more in the coming months.
The Premier stressed, “This is critical. Tens of thousands of people rely on this service daily. I urge all roleplayers in the rail sector to prioritise getting all our major routes running as they should again. Our residents have a right to safe, reliable and affordable public transport.”
Minister Mackenzie remarked, “Riding the train this morning with the Premier and our partners in the passenger rail sector was beautiful. We saw the hard work being put in to restore train services for commuters. We remain committed, as the Western Cape Government, to working hard to continue making progress so our people can get to work and school safely.”
“Train services in many cities run efficiently. There is no reason, if we all work together, why we cannot get our rail service to offer a cost-effective, safe, reliable and dignified service for our citizens,” concluded Premier Winde.