Prasa unveils CT station upgrade
Cape Town - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on Wednesday unveiled the first phase of it renovation of the concourse at Cape Town station.
“This upgrade and the continuing programme puts us side by side with the rest of the world,” said Prasa group chief executive Lucky Montana as he gave journalists a tour of the Parade Concourse.
Over the past five years, Prasa has conducted a countrywide modernisation exercise, procuring 600 new trains, 70 locomotives, and upgrading its stations and signalling system.
Prasa plans to spend R1.3 billion on the project over the next three years.
Of the new trains, 20 were built in Brazil and 580 locally.
The first newly-procured test train is scheduled to run from November 1.
Prasa said it aimed to make the concourse, where construction began in August 2013, more energy efficient and user friendly.
Montana said escalators travel one way depending on peak-time commuter traffic, ticket offices are located at both ends of the concourse, and natural light improves visibility. New speed gates will improve access control and decrease ticket duplication.
The upper deck taxi rank, the biggest in the city, will also receive a face lift in due course.
Montana said Prasa “must offer our commuters more than just a train ride”.
“There will be a complimentary commercial offering so commuters can buy whatever they need on their way home.”
Companies who have signed contracts to rent space inside the concourse include Steers, Vodacom and Pepkor.
Montana said he sees the upgrade of the concourse as part of South Africa’s social transformation.
“During apartheid, only non-whites used this concourse. We are changing the story, providing equal access and facilities to all commuters.”
He said a date for the public opening would be announced once final touched had been added to the concourse.