Sorry NMB Metro Passenger Train Service Status
Kirstie Paulse: AlgoaFM News
Metrorail commuter trains running between Kariega and Gqeberha in Nelson Mandela Bay will not operate for at least six to eight weeks.
Rail service which also passes through Perseverance, Swartkops, New Brighton and Sydenham was suspended on January 7.
Company spokesperson Mimi Katsio said the service was interrupted due to long-standing network issues, vandalism and cable theft.
“It is important for me to say that we operate our rail service on a Transnet network, we do not own the network, so we are dependent on them to carry out repairs,” she said.
Katsio also commented on the erratic train schedule which has forced thousands of commuters to find other means of transport.
“We use diesel locomotives and these have aged so they are prone to breakdowns and breakdowns,” she said.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), which has 317 stations out of the 468 on Metrorail, is however working on a recovery program for the Eastern Cape.
Katsio said they are looking into how to fix these issues.
They are also continuing their commitments with Transnet to repair the infrastructure.
“We’re giving it six to eight weeks, but if it stretches beyond that, we’ll come back to let commuters know the process is taking longer than expected.”
Commuters were told services are suspended on a Whatsapp group run by Metrorail earlier this year.
However, several people who have since turned to the Algoa Bus service or taxis for alternative transportation said they were unaware of the nature of the problem.
Others highlighted concerns about road safety due to reckless driving by some taxi drivers, while others said the financial implications were “heavy on the pocket”.
Train fares cost at least R9 for a single ticket to Gqeberha, while a taxi ride from Kariega Rang to Gqeberha costs R25.
Katsio said workers at affected stations have been sent for refresher training until services resume.