'South Africans need reliable & safe public transport'

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters & Prasa have launched a signalling control hub for passenger train services.

FILE: Transport minister Dipuo Peters. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says South Africans need a reliable and safe public transport system with the focus being on skills to ensure this is achievable.

Peters was speaking at the launch of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) new Gauteng Nerve Centre in Tembisa on Monday.

The centre will be the signalling control hub for passenger train services in the province.

Peters says the 600 new trains, which her department and Prasa have invested in, will be arriving in the country soon.

The minister also expressed the need for a system that people can rely on to get to work and back.

"The first thing our people complain about when you meet them in the trains is reliability. Second, are issues of security. If people are not going to feel safe they are going to vote with their feet and take a transport mode of their choice that they feel will keep them safe."

This Nerve hub will consolidate about eight centres across the province.

Modern technology will help operators monitor activities on a much more sophisticated level and, with the new trains coming into the country, this centre will be on par with other international facilities.

Not only will it monitor train traffic, but it will also house maintenance teams and manage safety and security.

It cost about R155 million to build and has created around 180 jobs.