Brett Herron live-tweets ‘horrific’ Metrorail journey across Cape Town

metrorail cape town station train fire

How difficult is it to take a train from Khayelitsha to Cape Town on a Thursday morning? Very. At least that’s what MayCo member for transport Brett Herron discovered today.

Live-tweeting his morning fact-finding commute to understand the conditions travellers face on Metrorail’s trains, Herron was left “horrified & angry”.

The day began well enough.

But the mood soon changed.

“Commuters telling me to be prepared to cling onto the roof of the train it will be so overcrowded,” Herron tweeted, while waiting for a train to arrive at Nolungile Station.

When the train did arrive…

“I am shocked, pained & angry. I can’t believe what I just witnessed. I was unable to get on the train. People clinging to the roof and hanging on the sides,” he wrote.

Subsequent tweets revealed the alternative seating arrangements passengers endured on their journeys into Town.

Some passengers were reportedly not so lucky.

“Apparently a roof top passenger was electrocuted and died. It is stationary & empty at Nyanga and we are stuck too.”

Herron eventually made it to Town three hours later.

“I am horrified & angry at how cruel this is. We must act now,” he tweeted in his final update.

However other Twitter users weren’t appreciative of his lip service.

Some spoke of their own experiences.

“At least you had an option as most of those people are on their last late notice so they’re forced. Taxis are was too expensive for their salaries as most have to take a minimum of 2 Taxis to get to town,” tweeted one user.

“Ya neh thts everyday for cape town (sic),” wrote another.

In October Herron outlined the City of Cape Town’s plan to take over daily operations of Metrorail from Prasa.

Following Council’s approval this morning, we will commence with our strategy for getting urban rail back on track,” he wrote in a statement.

Our chief priority is to create a customer-centred urban rail system where rail becomes the norm and the mode of choice for the majority of Capetonians. For this to happen, the commuter must be at the centre of everything we do.

I want to state from the outset that taking over the urban rail function will not happen overnight,” he concluded.

Herron’s tweets trended on Twitter briefly across South Africa Thursday morning.

Feature image: Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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