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Metrorail’s Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town bus service not running

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Spokesperson would not comment on why the substitute service stopped

Metrorail’s Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town train substitute bus service is not running. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks
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Metrorail has left commuters on the Southern line stranded since its bus service between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town stopped running. The bus was introduced after trains stopped operating beyond Fish Hoek because of sand on the tracks.

A Simon’s Town resident, who did not wish to be named, said the bus service was suspended two weeks ago. “Why there are no buses for us?” she wanted to know.

She commutes to Ottery daily for work. She bought a monthly train ticket for R175 which used to allow her on to the busses. The train she catches at Ottery is nearly always delayed, she said. By the time she arrives in Fish Hoek, about 7 or 8pm, it is too late to catch a minibus taxi to her home in Simon’s Town. “I then use Uber,” she said.

Commuters expressed their anger on the Metrorail Commuter Facebook page and asked for an explanation.

Wendy Masiza posted: “How long will we put up with this? It seems like we are showing acceptance by continuously using the train, by continuously agreeing to buy a ticket for a service not received, by not returning tickets when we arrive late at our destinations and demanding for our money back!”

Zinobulali Mihi, a spokesperson for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), replied to GroundUp: “It has been a while now [that the train] service was terminated because of the environmental factors, i.e. sand is all over the rail tracks and the signalling system … There are technical issues that we fix daily on the Southern line and these include vandalism and power failures.”

Mihi said Metrorail had advised its customers to use alternative transport via SMSes, Facebook, Twitter, train traffic reports and online in its customer newsletter. Golden Arrow buses are only able to assist during off-peak from 9am to 2pm as the company has no capacity to help during peak periods, said Mihi.

Mihi said she could not comment on why the bus substitute service is not running.

Metrorail is not refunding commuters who have tickets spanning the affected part of the line.

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TOPICS:  Metrorail Transport
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Letters

Dear Editor

The trains are not safe and never on time, the train line divides our city. It is time that the train line was removed and replaced with a road. The current main road could be two lanes running north and the new road on the rail line could be two lanes running south. Add a good bus service and this city could start to function again.