#UniteBehind is set to launch #DelayRepay, a campaign to demand better rail service and compensation in cases of continued delays, later on Thursday. The coalition of civil society movements plans to hold a mass rally from 15:00 to 17:00 at the Cape Town Station concourse.
The #DelayRepay campaign is a response to the "disastrous" deterioration of the Metrorail service. The rail service, the organisation said, "robs commuters and the public of money and human dignity".
"Every delay or cancellation is a broken journey that greatly impacts on people's lives."
#DelayRepay takes its name from a compensation system used by British railway companies to compensate commuters for late or cancelled trains. It is a system designed to attract commuters back to the rail service by providing them with greater financial security.
The organisers say the campaign seeks to help both commuters and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
If commuters are reassured that their fares will be reimbursed when delays occur, those that "fear for their safety and are constantly stressed about delayed and cancelled trains" will no longer have to "fork out extra money for alternative transport like taxis or buses when they have already purchased a monthly train ticket," said #UniteBehind.
Commuters who have abandoned the Prasa service are thus likely "to return and buy monthly tickets", which could mean saving Prasa from a "total financial collapse", said #UniteBehind.
In order for the #DelayRepay campaign to have a tangible impact on commuters and Prasa, #UniteBehind is pushing for fair fares to be introduced and demands that until the performance target of 79%-83% of trains running on time is met for three consecutive months, monthly ticket holders should be entitled to use their ticket for the duration of the next consecutive month.
"We demand that this starts immediately, with September monthly tickets extending into October," said #UniteBehind.
The coalition also includes legal, policy and research organisations.
- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter