It started on Saturday, the outcries about Metrorail services being withdrawn in the entire Western Cape due to vandalism. No, let’s me just say it as it is, due to CRIMINALS!
Sunday came, and still technicians were working against the clock to ensure efficient Metrorail services by Monday. Unfortunately, this did not happen. Instead social media raged with the huge inconvenience, additional expenses, some walking long distances to get to work, the defunct bus service, etc.
Reference were made to how the Municipality and various other government departments have a role to play in assisting commuters with safely getting to their destinations. Mention was made of the limited bus services and the escalating costs of the minibus taxi service. I read these social media comments with an ounce of amusement because:
- One bus can barely carry a carriage load of passengers – the average train has 6 carriages! The railway service operates across a diverse area, rendering services to thousands of people every day. A few busses are nowhere near enough to make up for this. Especially when we know that the bus service already caters for people who do not use the train service . . .
- Most of the railway reserve is not secured. The huge area it covers means that having security in place to look after the assets is a monstrous task. Never mind looking after the safety of the passengers (but let me not digress here).
- CRIMINALS brought the service to its knees. NOT the parastatal. Even though we do know that theft of cables, etc. has been an on-going problem, and perhaps something could have been done to prevent the most recent incident. BUT, the FACT REMAINS, CRIMINALS committed a crime that DEBILITATED an entire province!
The impact of the most recent threat to our transport services, and our communities, is a DIRECT reflection of the society that we live in today. Very little value is placed on how our actions impacts on others . . . Yet people still buy stolen goods, keep quiet when they see suspicious activity, knowing that come tomorrow they will be part of the bitching and moaning!
A knee jerk reaction to a recurring problem is not going to resolve these constant issues of vandalism. And whilst there are many stakeholders who have a role to play, few (if any) have the capacity to alleviate the current public transport service demands.
So today marks day 3 for me with having to arrange alternative transport and this is how the vandalism has HIT MY POCKET!
Uber from Muizenberg to Fish Hoek R55. Fortunately, I managed to get a lift to my meeting in Cape Town and back to Muizenberg earlier in the day . . .
Uber from Fish Hoek to Muizenberg. Thankfully, I could get a lift back home after my meeting at 7pm.
Uber return trip from Fish Hoek to Sea Point. R700! And whilst the train service is operating with delays of 60 minutes (minimum!) on the Southern Line, this is not an option when travelling with my son. Especially when our appointment is with our audiologist for Hearing Happiness.
I’ve spent R810 within the space of three days! A hell of a lot of money considering that I saved R600 by getting a lift in to town and back on Monday. I also saved R55 yesterday thanks to a lift. In addition to this, I have a monthly Metrorail ticket valued at R150 collecting dust in my bag.
Ordinarily I would not have this kind of money to spend on travelling. My budget is as tight a squeeze as a Metro Carriage during peak hour commute. Thank goodness for extra pay!
Now do I buy a monthly Metrorail ticket for December? YES! Why? Because I am optimistic and don’t have any money left for unexpected Uber trips.
Are you one of the thousands of Metrorail Commuters who have been affected by the latest criminal activity?