Johannesburg - SA needs to develop a culture of consumer discipline in that everyone using public transport has to have a valid ticket‚ says Western Cape transport and pubic works MEC Robyn Carlisle.
Earlier this week a commuter train caught fire in the Cape Town suburb of Woodstock.
Metrorail regional executive Mthuthuzeli Swartz told the Cape Argus the fire was caused by people who were ejected from the train for not having a ticket.
Speaking to Business Day on the sidelines of the SA–Japan Railway Conference on Thursday‚ Carlisle said it was still to be determined if the fire was caused by commuters‚ as alleged by Swartz‚ or if it was the train’s brakes that started it.
“We have two problems with our rail public transport in general. The first is that the trains are really old‚ and the second‚ is that there is a culture of not wanting to pay for the service‚” he said.
Carlisle said all rail passengers had to have a valid ticket for their trip and action had to be taken against those who did not.
“Even if it means putting school children off the trains‚” he said.
Carlisle said the age of the trains used was an issue that has led to reliability problems and disrupted schedules.
He praised the Passenger Rail Agency of SA for increasing the number of trains from 79 per day to 101.
“They have literally cannibalised trains from the stockyards to make this happen‚” he said.
Cape Town’s suburban train service carries about 150 million passengers per year.
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