Metrorail says no-no to YOLO behaviour on trains

2014-04-03 12:37

Metrorail staff caught mistreating commuters

2013-07-22 08:00

Metrorail is in the spotlight for the way some of its employees treat commuters. Commuters have caught staff on camera roughing up fellow passengers. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg – Enjoy living on the edge during your morning commute, feeling the wind in your hair and sun on your face as you hang from the train door?

Perhaps the continuous reports of Metrorail delays are forcing some of you to put on your brave face?

Well, best you rein it in or find a new adrenaline fix, as Metrorail security services are set to arrest any passengers caught riding outside of trains – whether hanging out of the doors, or clinging to the front (yes, apparently that happens).  

This comes after 17 fatalities, caused by people falling out of moving trains, were reported last year.  

Effective immediately, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) announced that trains will only depart platforms once all the doors had been closed, in the hope that this will encourage commuters to stay inside.  

“We will arrest and prosecute anyone caught hanging on the outside of the train. This includes those people that staff ride our trains in between stations” said the PRASA Rail CEO Mosenngwa Mofi.  

But, will this really work?

As any regular train commuter may know, a closed door policy is hardly enforceable on South Africa’s over-crowded rail network and previous attempts by PRASA to employ similar restrictions on their Metrorail-operated trains were wholly unsuccessful.  

In many cases, commuters simply broke down doors to allow for more space.  

Mofi admitted that they are aware of the fact that this type of unruly behaviour is often necessitated by overcrowding, which comes as a result of set shortages, caused by age and breakdowns. 

“Thousands have already been spent fixing broken doors and windows, further diminishing the already small number of operational sets. This is a culture spanning many years which we attribute to plain bad behavior and we are calling for an immediate end to it” said Mofi.

In the past financial year a whopping R167m was spent on repairs to and replacement of assets, including trains, cables and electrical wire. All in all 2 178 asset-related crimes – including theft and vandalism - were reported. This amounts to 189 incidents per month and around 7 incidents per day, all of which result in adverse train operations on a daily basis.

Mofi said Metrorail is currently undergoing a major modernisation exercise, which they hope will bring a measure of relief to operational woes. Apart from repair work to rail tracks and signaling, they are expecting to instate new trains in 2015/16.

In the mean time Metrorail commuters can look forward to a heightened security presence at stations and on trains, in an effort to improve operations.  

“Our message is clear, Metrorail will not tolerate dangerous and unsafe travel practices. We are working with the Commuter Forums in promoting safe travelling and the reporting of any adverse behavior, we also encourage our commuters to be responsible and safe while travelling” ended Mofi.  

Have you ever witnessed truly crazy behaviour on your morning commute? Tell us about it in the comment section below, send us a mail to or tweet us at @news24travelor chat to us on Facebook.  
Read more on:    metrorail  |  travel  |  travel south africa

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