Yes I know that many of you are going to lambast my article and myself for the thoughts in this article, but this is my opinion and I stand by it.
Over the last few days Metrorail ( The company that runs the train service in SA), has come under fire for throwing a woman off a train last Saturday. I fully support PRASA and their agents for doing the right thing and here is why.
If you live in Cape Town and travel by train, you would have realised the vast amount of people whom travel ticketless on a daily basis, they train hop from station to station and they take away valuable money, which could be used to update stations like the nice modern one just renovated in CT CBD or any one of the suburban stations.
Many people moan and complain about these people whom of which don't pay, but when action is taken against this lot, the same people moan and complain that they were thrown off the train and/or are in-dignified.
The way trains work around the world is simple, you need a ticket to ride it, regardless of the ticket offices operational hours. The woman in question in the article claims she is a regular on the train, thus knows full well when the offices are in operation.
Like many adults in the year 2013, we make stupid and non-logical excuses to why we cant think for ourselves or why we break the law. The woman knew that the offices were going to be closed, as this was also not her first time travelling at this time as i am sure her job hours have not changed, she also obviously takes the train back home and could have purchased her ticket for the following day or week then, (the offices let you buy up to 2 weeks in advance).
We actually need beefed up security, as people lambaste, start fights with and also don't listen to one security guard. (many times when a matter is tried to have been resolved peacefully with one guard, which is often the case on the way to CBD, people start hurling verbal insults and in some instances want to "moer" security, this is sadly why we need more than one guard. People who travel on the train will understand what i mean.
PRASA and Metrorail should take a leaf out of the airline's book and adapt a non-tolarence policy. Consumers will not try the same stunt at an airport because they would'nt even get passed security, thus it is not tried. However because train ticket prices are cheap, they are seen as insignificant and people take chances.
We as South Africans have become too soft. If we allow this, and support this one case then the next guy who takes a chance could also claim something, maybe to him or her the line was too long and she also needed to get to work, then the next person wants only to pay at the destination. Eventually we are left with a anochy system that allows people to take the service as a joke, whilst doing what they please. If we continue to support these absurd cases then eventually there is no point of even having security on a train, because the minute you touch someone you are seen as the bad guy and if you throw them off the train for whatever reason then you become public enemy number 1.
Lets face the facts and act like adults here.
1. The person did not have a ticket.
2. She was asked nicely to buy one at the next station
3. She (the defendant) verbally insulted security and made a scene.
4. She like many others knew full well that the offices open at a specific time and thus should have planned ahead.
5. Security are also human beings, doing a job to feed their families, they have no right to be verbally abused for doing their jobs.
6. No Ticket No Ride. (Approved Worldwide)
7. Weekly tickets (Valid Mon-Sun) are 30% cheaper than buying them day by day and is also the cheaper option even if travelling 5 out of the 7 days. If this woman is a regular, (as to her claims), i highly doubt she would spend 30% more on a train ticket.
8. Do you honestly believe that this person would have gone directly to the ticket office upon arrival? (Lets be real here people.) Many people train hop on a daily basis.
Sorry but Metrorail were completely in their rights to ask the passenger to leave the train. If you ride even a metre without a ticket, it is theft. Thank you Metrorail for sending a message out there to the community its long overdue. Theft is Theft.
PS. The DA runs Cape Town, not the ANC so don't play that card and secondly i support neither political party.