Metrorail launches information service

2012-09-17 12:00
Metrorail has launched a platform to provide more information to commuters. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Metrorail has launched a platform to provide more information to commuters. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Commuters in the Western Cape can look forward to more information from Metrorail with the launch of a mobile information service.

The rail operator has partnered with GoMetro to provide commuters with information on train times, schedule changes and service updates issued form the Metrorail control centre.

"It is based on improving the efficiency and moving away from a static timetable and moving toward a live timetable that is going to assist the flow of information," Mthuthuzeli Swartz, Metrorail regional manager told News24.

The GoMetro website features a train fare schedule as well as general information and the service will also be available on mobile devices.

The information should help commuter with travelling on the public transport system, and Swartz said that after the testing phase, it will be rolled out on a national basis.

Information

"Although it is now happening in the Western Cape, we are going to make sure that we share this information with our counterparts in other regions.

"The thing is you start testing an application and before you roll it out nationally, you want to make sure that all the kinks in the system have been sorted out. That is why we have been encouraging our people and our users to use it," said Swartz.

There are mobile sites like cttrains.mobi that already offer train service information in the Western Cape and users can access information on the Metrorail website for traffic information on the train service, but the new platform seeks to make it easier for the user to access the information.

Metrorail service levels are a thorny issue in Cape Town and the company indicated that increased access to information was part of the package of improvements for commuters.

"The improving the train service and the product offering of Metrorail is a multifaceted issue. The on time performance is not so much related to the timetable, but the timetable reflects on the possibilities or definitions from on time performance.

"The reliability of the train service itself although linked, it is an independent aspect. The trains we are giving to our technicians in order to provide a reliable service is also a separate item. But holistically, all of these are elements that we have mentioned in our 'Programme of Action'," Swartz said.

Cable theft

Cable theft continues to be a problem for Metrorail as it compromises the firm's ability to deliver an efficient and reliable service for around two million travellers per day, and the new platform should give users information on service disruptions timeously.

Trains in SA are a far cry from those in developed countries and Swartz said that Metrorail was committed to a continued improvement in the service.

"So in improving the service there are a lot of things we've got to improve: We've got to improve on on time performance; we've got to improve on information; we've got to improve on cleanliness; we've got to improve on security - it's a total offering.


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