MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

The Metrorail Watchdog
Comments: 1
Article views: 274
Latest Badges:

View all The Metrorail Watchdog's badges.

Another day, another delay

09 April 2014, 22:30
I started writing something positive about Metrorail, but that is now like the trains in peak-time delayed.
Thought I might touch on Metrorail’s biggest challenge – my term for problem.

Now before I continue it is maybe also important to note that the Go Metro service which Metrorail was so proud to announce, sometimes don’t even feature delays or cancellations and even thought I will continue to say the service is thus useless (until I’m proven otherwise) – I will acknowledge that Go Metro can and will only be effective with the full proactive cooperation and support by Metrorail’s Operational and Communication teams.
Go Metro is a third party support mechanism to better communication, but it is Metrorail’s Operational Centre and team who receives information first and should relay this information to the Go Metro platform where commuters can access it.

Metrorail from time to time make announcements about trains on platforms at different stations. What management don’t want to acknowledge, accept and address is that the announcers sometimes don’t speak clear for the commuter to hear what the person is saying. If you lucky you might hear “delay”, and for the past month “we apologize for the inconvenience” is not even said anymore. I partly blame the individuals but it is Metrorail who should ensure that staff is fully trained with microphone techniques and judging by the failure to hear what is said, it is clear many announcers have little or any of these techniques.

We live in the 21st century and despite having social network accounts on Twitter and Facebook, Metrorail Western Cape seem to be unable to communicate to commuters effectively.

As mentioned in a previous blog, on Facebook you will every now an then see a press statement. When commuters comment and ask questions, Metrorail’s comments seem to have been cancelled as they never comment on Facebook on questions/concerns. 

On Twitter, @CapeTownTrains will tweet train delays and cancellations – only during peak time – and fail to reply to all questions and criticism from commuters. And when they do, some of those tweeting from the handle got an attitude and respond by tweeting what you can basically just read on their TL.

So what should happen?
Metrorail’s management, area managers and Communication team should do a quick course in public relations or communication to understand why they have to communicate with commuters – or they could just make use of the train in peak time, when trains are delay by 50minutes and it still goes and stand just before Cape Town station, this is after you waited in the rain for a train.
While they busy with the above they can start to commit themselves and encourage colleagues in the Operational Centre to do the same in being more proactive in relaying information to Go Metro.
Announcers can be taught microphone techniques, and that is not an expensive or long exercise.

Both Facebook and Twitter accounts can be used more proactive. Metrorail can start by giving sufficient answers on social networks and not merely repeat what you can already read on their TL.
Metrorail should also be more open with commuters and not only say a train is delay but actually put a time to all delays and give reasons for it.

Metrorail has a weekly newspaper, MyLine, which is not used effectively. The Regional Manager can use this paper to address weekly issues, answer five to ten questions and explain why certain issues occurred in the week. Besides this, they should maybe also get staff to hand out MyLine on the trains as most weeks the papers are just laying on a platform and nobody really picks it up to read it. 

Metrorail can also start by promoting their success stories, especially the off-peak once like their Edu- and Tourism trains. They fail to do this and instead focus on delays.
Metrorail can also start being more proactive and not try and cover their wickets the whole time. At the current rate, Cricket SA might as well hire Metrorail as wicket-keeper.

Metrorail can also start by identifying ambassadors aka “loyal commuters” who can not only inform the Operational Centre on what is happening on the tracks to relay to Go Metro but who can inform fellow commuters on the train about why a train is standing still in the middle of somewhere and nowhere for longer than what a Blackberry battery last.

If Metrorail can admit the important role communication plays and commits to being more proactive with communication, their might just be a bit lesser frustration amongst commuters. 

By Earl September ?@earlseptember 
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Thandolwethu Mene
South African ICC exit a step in ...

What is the International Criminal Court and what is its purpose? Read more...

0 comments 2375 views
Submitted by
Michael Mondli Hlophe
Defeating Privilege

Many sceptics will probably read the topic and move on to the next without giving the article the time of day. Privilege is however something that needs to be addressed. Read more...

0 comments 1807 views
Submitted by
Mark Nancarrow
Why I love Cambodia’s capital

There are so many reasons to hate Cambodia’s bite sized capital of Phnom Penh. Open sewers, naked children, piles of burning garbage on every street. Its a dirty, smelly, noisy amalgam. But Phnom Penh grows on you and by the time you leave it will occupy a special place in your heart. Read more...

0 comments 436 views
Submitted by
Nkanyiso Land Tumi
Fees must fall movement is unforg...

I am very shocked to see students protesting in the presence of police as if they're criminals. Read more...

0 comments 4822 views
Submitted by
De Wet Ferreira
Put the 'heal' Back into Mental H...

We all know what do when we cut or scratch ourselves, right? Our first response, without even thinking about it, is to go for the medicine cabinet – grabbing the antiseptic ointment and a plaster or two.  Read more...

0 comments 302 views
Submitted by
Colin Harding
Western cape dams are 30% lower t...

Not to understate the seriousness of the drought that South Africa is caught up in, I am a little concerned when local government state one statistic and the DWA have a different statistic. Read more...

0 comments 1243 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2016 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.