Cape Town City extends security in support of rail services

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Steve Appleton
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Cape Town City extends security in support of rail services

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From Engineering News ... 2011-04-08
City extends security in support of extended rail services
8th April 2011

The City of Cape Town announced in March that it would extend the working hours of security guards at ten park-and-ride facilities along its Southern rail line to coincide with commuter rail services operator Metrorail’s extended operational hours.

Security at the park-and-ride facilities at the Claremont, Kenilworth, Plumstead, Dieprivier, Heathfield, Retreat, Lakeside, Fish Hoek, Muizenberg and Simon’s Town stations will be extended until 30 minutes after the last train of the day has left that station.
From March 28, the extended Southern line timetable features three additional daily trains on weekdays, departing from Cape Town station at 19:30, 20:30 and 21:15. The extended operational hours of security guards at the park-and-rides also became effective from this date.

This extended evening service on the Southern rail line forms part of a collaborative pilot project between Metrorail Western Cape, the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works and the City of Cape Town to promote public transport.

This extended service is a pilot project that will run for six months. The successes and challenges of the project will be monitored and evaluated, and will inform a decision on whether evening trains should be permanently reinstated. If successful, it could see similar services introduced on other lines in the city.

“By extending the operational hours of security guards at the ten park-and-ride facilities, the city is giving private transport users the option of driving to the station and taking the train. The benefits include reduced road congestion and pollution associated with motor vehicles, reduced transport times each day, as well as a significant saving in transport costs,” Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Major Projects Councillor Elizabeth Thompson says.

“We are confident that the park-and-ride facilities will prove popular among residents of the southern suburbs and that the pilot project as a whole will be successful,” she adds.

The initiative forms part of the city’s policy of providing and improving public transport for all.

The Western Cape Member of the Execu- tive Council for Transport and Public Works Robin Carlisle is adamant that reviving late train services on the Southern line will help reduce the congestion on Cape Town’s roads.

“The extended service is an incentive for motorists to leave their cars, and use the train instead. They now have the option of spending less time travelling to and from work, using a reliable and affordable train service.

“My department has provided funding for extra security on these trains to ensure that commuters are safe throughout their trips and at train stations. Commuter safety is a priority,” Carlisle says.

Meanwhile, the city’s Sustainable Transport Committee has also embarked on a project where large employers are, bedsides others, encouraged to allow staff to work flexitime, with some staff starting and leaving work early, while others work the late shift.

Metrorail supports this approach, as the result will be that more people would be accommodated on the trains and overcrowding will be reduced.

The initiative also enables students to remain on campus longer and still get a train home; office workers can choose to stay in town, watch an early movie, or attend a social event and still use public transport to get home; and other residents may choose to use public transport to come to the central business district for the single purpose of attending an evening social event, the city’s Communication Department says.
"To train or not to train, that is the question"
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