GroundUp (Cape Town)

7 July 2014

South Africa: That Time of the Month At Metrorail

Cape Town commuters blame the long queues at Metrorail ticket offices every month end on a shortage of sales agents.

"The service is terrible. I always get to work late and I can't do otherwise because I get paid exactly at the end of the month, and I don't have enough money to keep for weekly tickets." said Katy Daniels.

Daniels was one of nearly 40 commuters waiting in the line to buy a monthly ticket last week at the Fish Hoek station.

People in the queue complained about frustrating and inconvenient Metrorail service at the end of every month.

Most of Metrorail's 127 stations across the city have four ticket offices but commuters complain that at peak hours often only one office is open and sales are slow.

Commuter Francois Frans who works for Cinnabar said it was a "miracle" that she still had a pleasant working relationship with her employer as she was not usually at work on time at the end of the month.

Noxolo Beya from Khayelitsha said: "I often take a taxi to Claremont for a ticket since it's usually quieter in the suburbs and town."

Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott, said ticket sales agents were deployed according to ticket sales analyses. She said tickets could be purchased several days before a journey was to be made so that customers could avoid lengthy queues.

"Ticket sales for the next month open four working days before the end of the month to encourage customers to purchase their tickets early to avoid long queues.

"Ticket office hours vary according to demand. Corridor offices are open from 4:30am to 8:30pm, medium stations open from 5am to 7pm and small stations from 6am to 6pm,"she said.

Scott said companies and organisations could buy 20 or more monthly tickets for their employees at a 5% discount, and that would save employees time.

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