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Metrorail provides buses after train services disrupted

13 June 2017 - 13:43 By Farren Collins And Aphiwe Deklerk

Cape Town Metrorail passengers with weekly and monthly tickets will have to fork out hard cash if they want to get to work early or home before dark.

A train on Cape Town station burns on Monday evening.
A train on Cape Town station burns on Monday evening.
Image: Ashraf Hendricks via GroundUp

The train service is experiencing delays and contingency plans‚ to divert monthly and weekly ticket holders to Golden Arrow buses‚ will not assist commuters who want to travel during peak hours.

Eight Metrorail carriages were destroyed after being set alight and numerous shops were looted at the transport agency’s Cape Town station on Monday night‚ after passengers grew impatient following extended delays.

According to a statement from Metrorail‚ the delays were a result of defective electrical power feeds. “Metrorail usually has four 11kv power feeds available to it to operate the train service‚” said Metrorail provincial spokesperson Riana Scott.

“Between 2pm and 8pm two of the four feeds were not functional‚ overloading the remaining two feeds which tripped electricity and halted trains all over the network.”

Scott said that platforms 14 to 17 would be closed until further notice “until engineers could assess the infrastructure integrity of the structure”.

Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer said‚ according to an arrangement with Metrorail‚ they will only accommodate passengers outside peak hours. Peak hours for Golden Arrow are between 4pm and 8am the next day.

Dyke-Beyer said Golden Arrow will be able to start carrying Metrorail passengers at 6pm in the evening and only after 8am in the morning.

She explained that Metrorail passengers may only avoid this if they paid their bus fares in cash. “We are having to add more buses to our off-peak service because traditionally our off-peak services don’t cater for as many [passengers]‚” she said.

“Another thing is that we were also running buses last night until after midnight to clear all the passengers ... we have been doing everything we can to assist the Metrorail passengers and we will run buses until we have cleared everybody‚” she added.

She said there were delays with their buses‚ which were demand-based.