PICS: Prasa set to resume partial train services between uMlazi and KwaMashu
Durban - The train line between uMlazi and KwaMashu is set to be re-opened, albeit in a staggered approach, after more three months of being closed due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
On Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli and eThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda inspected the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa‘s state of readiness to open the 21 out of 102 stations.
Accompanied by Prasa Regional Manager Dumisani Dube, Ntuli and Kaunda inspected the Durban Station train terminal and also observed the adherence to guidelines promulgated under Alert Level 3 of the Covid-19 national lockdown on-board a Prasa train from Durban Station to Dalbridge Station.
MEC Ntuli observed the social distancing measures in place at the train terminals and inside the train, sanitisation of the facilities and the use of Personal Protective Equipment by officials.
Prasa has deployed about 300 marshals to ensure compliance to the Covid-19 regulations.
Ntuli said he has had engagements with Prasa and their preparations to resume operations as per the regulations.
"I am satisfied with Prasa’s state of readiness. We need to adhere to the new norms of social distancing and sanitising in our public transport facilities," he said.
However, Ntuli said he was concerned about the cable theft and vandalism that has taken place at the train stations, which have had a negative impact on Prasa’s operations and has caused delays in the resumption of services.
He said each coach will be operating at 30% capacity in order to comply with the Covid-19 regulations.
MEC Ntuli said although he is confident that Prasa would be able to address any challenges identified during the gradual resumption of limited services, he is mindful of the amount of work that lies ahead before services are fully rolled-out.
He went on to thank commuters for their understanding during this difficult period and appeal for their full cooperation as Prasa prepares to gradually resume operations.
Prasa is preparing to open the uMlazi to KwaMashu line, which is about 21 stations out of 102 stations, as part of the staggered approach and gradual resumption of services in eThekwini.