Rail meltdown sparks public transit ‘crisis’ in Cape Town
Gridlocked streets and unreliable rail service threaten to undermine the local economy of Cape Town. South Africa’s Times Live reports that the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry warns that the situation has reached crisis proportions.
Cape Chamber President Janine Myburgh highlights this seeming contradiction: Cape Town has one of South Africa’s best rail networks, yet service quality erodes daily. Riders complain of trains that never arrive or are excessively late. Some commuters are forced to pay extra for taxis or buses to reach their diestinations. These hassles, coupled with fears of being targeted on trains by criminals, especially at night, are prompting wider use of cars, adding to congestion.
Commuters and employers blame the transit woes for lost productivity and absenteeism, the article says. They also gripe about increased fuel costs as delivery vehicles idle in traffic. Some companies are trying to ease the burden on employees by supplementing taxi fares, launching transport for workers or offering flexible hours, the Johannesburg-based paper reports.