Pretoria – The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said activities like religious gatherings, gambling and trading, which have been commonplace on commuter trains are not allowed on the new Prasa trains.
Speaking to IOL, spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said Prasa had introduced the new rolling stock known as “The People’s Train” as part of rebuilding its infrastructure.
“The the current rolling stock is structured differently and has open coaches. Due to this openness of coaches and oneness of the train sets, it is important not to impose behavioural system on any of our commuters. It is also in the interest of prioritising safety,” said Mofokeng.
“Attached please find our conditions of carriage, which stipulates no smoking, no trading, no churches, no gambling. We also have a Passenger Service Charter that (outlines) the service that Prasa is offering to commuters.”
She said Prasa had now embarked on an education campaign to teach commuters about new rules.
“These activities have demonstrated over the years that they inconvenience many commuters and limit free movement inside the train,” said Mofokeng.
Earlier this year, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) granted Prasa a commercial licence to operate the new blue electric trains on the southern line.
The blue train, dubbed “The People’s Train”, was unveiled and tested at Cape Town station, where President Cyril Ramaphosa and former transport minister Blade Nzimande cut the ribbon and took a ride to Mowbray station in April, 2019.
In February, Prasa’s acting chief executive, David Mphelo, said the decision by the RSR comes as Prasa ramps up efforts to bring more rail corridors back into operation across the country.
Mphelo said the Metrorail Western Cape had been running the off-peak operations of the new electric trains on the southern line since November last year, while running the yellow/grey trains during peak time.