Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula officially launched the Rail Traffic Control Centre, in the Western Cape, on October 16. The new facility is expected to improve efficiencies in the management of rail transport for the benefit of commuters, the community and the economy of the City of Cape Town and the province as a whole.
The Western Cape region is receiving new commuter trains and an initial ten carriages will be deployed on the Cape Flats line.
Eventually, 22 carriages will be deployed.
“Today, we are officially opening the Rail Traffic Control Centre through which we are going to see a proper coordination and integration of all technical and operational activities during normal operations, emergencies and abnormal operating conditions of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA),” Mbalula commented.
He noted that the expected improvements that would come about as a result of the new centre were effective external communication through social media platforms and digital communication; the effective handling of incidents; timely availability of information for joint planning and decision-making; and ensuring that during normal operations, interfaces take place by means of integrated planning and coordination and other interfaces by means of enquiries and meetings.
Meanwhile, the Minister said the Department of Transport was starting with stakeholder engagement to introduce a hybrid transport model in the province. The hybrid model will include the use of buses to "continue to ferry our commuters from their places of residence to work".
“The other element of the hybrid service involves the integrated ticketing system between PRASA Rail and Autopax buses to transport our passengers to Cape Town from Area Central.” Mbalula said.
He added that the integrated system was at an advanced stage and that implementation would start in January 2021.