50 Metrorail commuters fined in PTA

Metrorail in Gauteng said commuters travelling on its trains without valid tickets would be charged.

Commuters wait to board a Metrorail train. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - Metrorail in Gauteng on Sunday said commuters travelling on its trains without valid tickets would be charged with a spot fine of R40 in addition to the fare.

More than 50 commuters were fined during a special operation on Saturday at the Watloo Train Station in Mamelodi, outside Pretoria.

At least 15 commuters did not have money to pay, said officials.

Some commuters felt the operation was unfair, saying there were no tickets sold at the station which they departed from.

One female commuter said she often bought her ticket at the station near her destination point.

Metrorail spokesperson Lawrence Venkile said commuters who were unable to pay the fine would be taken to a police station and charged.

Venkile said it was unacceptable that commuters boarded trains without tickets, saying all stations had warning signs and facilities to purchase tickets from.

He said those arrested would be fined R300.

Meanwhile, Metrorail in the Western Cape said it managed to improve its services at stations across Cape Town in recent months. It says its train services in that city are now 94 percent reliable.

Metrorail Western Cape manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said coaches would be serviced more regularly.

"When the trains go to sleep in the sheds, we must not also go to sleep." He says technicians should work across the night to ensure that trains are functioning in the morning.

Swartz said signal problems in Belville had also improved immensely.