Metro (epic)fail

Roslyn Hector, Lansdowne

Once again Metrorail has failed to communicate with those who use its services.

This morning, Friday April 29, just like on Monday April 25, all Cape Flats commuters were left stranded on Pinelands station.

At 7.03am we had already been on the train at Pinelands station for at least 30 minutes without being advised about what was happening.

People started getting off the train with instructions to go up a flight of stairs and down another onto platform 3 to board a train coming from Mitchell’s Plain. All those trains were so full.

Men were hanging from carriage doors and a young man was seen hanging at the rear of the train on the under carriage portion – waving his free arm.

A video of this incident was made by a commuter. Later, by about 8.15am, people started walking back to where our Cape Flats train was standing, no announcement made and as a result only a few of the people standing close to the Metro section of the train made it back onto the 0510 train. At 8.27am, back on the Cape Flats platform, other commuters and I boarded the next train into town.

On Friday April 29, train 0508 was at Lansdowne station at 6.50am. When I arrived and got on board, it was fairly full. Commuters whom I know were also on board and told me that this was the first train since 6am.

The train came to a halt just outside Hazendal station and just stood there for about 20 minutes.

Men started getting off the train and walked towards Pinelands station.

Another 15 to 20 minutes later, the train moved. At Pinelands station it came to a complete halt.

A commuter asked the train driver what was happening and was told to go over to platform 3 and wait. Once again trains came by and were full. Late, at about 8am I boarded the 0512 Cape Flats train on platform 3 and just made it to the Metro carriage since I was not convinced that I would get a train going into town on that platform. The train arrived in town at 8.18 am.

Metrorail, this is not acceptable, communication is vital. Why are announcements not being made when a train packed with fare-paying commuters stops for whatever reason such as signal failure? Why can’t the train driver issue instructions? The drivers do not appear to have any responsibility to getting their passengers to their destination. Who at Metrorail is responsible for getting commuters to their destination? If not the train driver, then who?

* This letter was sent to Metrorail for a response, which will be published in the next available edition of Athlone News.