Arson attacks, train crime weigh on Metrorail CT's passenger figures

Commuter numbers have decreased from 630,000 to 500,000.

A Metrorail train arrives at the Cape Town station. Picture: @CapeTownTrains/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail says that its passenger numbers have dropped drastically over the past 18 months due to arson attacks and general criminality affecting trains.

Commuter numbers have decreased from 630,000 to 500,000.

The rail operator's woes are compounded by costly fires which have laid waste to more than a dozen train carriages in recent months. Last week alone there were three incidents in the city where train coaches were gutted in fires.

Authorities suspect arson.

Metrorail's Richard Walker: "Given the nature of our network in the Western Cape, it is the most desired way of commuting, it is the backbone of public transport and therefore we need to make sure that we bring stability back into the system over the next 18 to 24 months."