Metrorail ready for World Cup fans

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - Metrorail will transport match ticket holders of the 2010 FIFA World Cup free of charge on its special dedicated trains to host stadiums.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) acting boss, Tumisang Kgaboesele, said through its rail division, Prasa will run special commuter services through its Metrorail and Shosholoza Meyl intercity services during the tournament.

"We can't wait to play our part in helping South Africa rise to this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. The train services will be available free of charge to 2010 FIFA World Cup ticket holders on special dedicated trains," he said.

Kgaboesele said this is an additional special train service over and above the normal services provided, adding that it will be synchronised according to match schedules.

"Additional rail services will be scheduled to cope with the demand as government has promised that by 2010 there will be a train available every five minutes during peak times. Train services will be running between 14 and 16 hours every day," he said.

Metrorail Gauteng Region will service a total of 12 routes namely Soccer City with 14 train sets, Coca-Cola Park with 13 train sets and Loftus Versfeld with 14 more trains.

In order to cope with anticipated high demand on certain parts of the rail network, Kgaboesele said additional train shuttles are also set to run to and from certain routes between stadia.

The short routes include Pretoria to Rissik station, Johannesburg to Nasrec station, Westgate to Nasrec station as well as Westgate to Doornfontein station.

All stations will start operating from 5am to 10pm on match days while for late games, stations will operate until midnight.

Each soccer train will be staffed with a team of ten ticket officers, both to and from venue stations. One inspector or supervisor will be deployed on each soccer train.

Shosholoza Meyl, with an active coach fleet of 1 223, already runs on 19 scheduled routes stopping at 95 stations, while Metrorail services 468 stations in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban and the Eastern Cape.

Regional and cross-border train services have been revised to coincide with matches in the various host cities, this includes the scheduling of dedicated trains to matches and from outside the Gauteng region.

Passengers will be able to choose between the various products such as the Tourist Class Train Service, Economy Train Service and Premier Class.

The train services will run from Musina in Limpopo, Komatipoort, Rustenburg, Durban, Bloemfontein and Greenpoint in Cape Town. Passengers will then connect to Metrorail trains to take them to their respective games.

Prasa group chief executive officer, Lucky Montana said they are confident that they are ready to move football fans wherever they need to go well before the 2010 FIFA World Cup's first whistle sounds.

"Prasa's 13 000 employees are prepared and ready to welcome our visitors and treating football fans to the best possible service in our country," he said.

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