Fikile Mbalula intends to double the number of Metrorail trains traversing the country by the end of this year. The Transport Minister recently launched a 'war room' to combat the issues facing the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa.
Minister Fikile 'Mr Fix' Mbalula plans to almost double the amount of trains available to commuters by the end of 2019.
Speaking to The Sowetan, Mbalula denounced overcrowding in the rail system, something he feels is linked to criminal activity and other dangers to passengers:
"Ensure Metrorail train set availability is at 291 train sets, currently at 157. Overcrowding in trains due to insufficient number of train sets on any given day creates a fertile ground for criminal activity and injuries in our commuter rail environment."
The Shosholoza Meyl is due for an 50% improvement in travel times, with Mbalula highlighting the importance of the system as an 'important enabler' for citizens who traverse long distances in search of employment in urban centres.
Speed restrictions are also set to be put in place to ensure safety when travelling on 'ageing infrastructure', which the minister says contributes to further delays for commuters.
The war room will allow officials to fast-track important decisions to ensure information gathered is put to good use:
"On a daily basis, the team will start the day with an assessment of the previous day’s performance and identify issues that hamper performance and make decisions on how to resolve these."
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