Southern Line reopens with limited service

In line with lockdown regulations, physical distancing circles were painted at Retreat and other stations along the Southern Line.

Today kicks off the resumption of Metrorail services as announced by the transport ministry last month.

From today, Wednesday July 1, the Southern Line between Retreat and Cape Town will open up again but with a limited service.

Metrorail spokesperson, Riana Scott, said the timetable will be limited and only 13 of the 18 stations between Retreat and Cape Town will be open – the express stations.
The other five stations will be closed.

Ms Scott said the resumption along the Southern Line was because the infrastructure was not as damaged as along other lines. During the previous levels of lockdown, metal thieves damaged railway infrastructure.

“Although the service is starting it is by no means back to normal, this is a Covid-19 service. There will be limited people per carriage due to the one square metre per person protocols,” she said.

There will be limited tickets for sale at each station and commuters are required to wear a mask and sanitise when entering the stations. Once these tickets have been sold, commuters will be notified at the station.

“We’ve done everything we can to comply with regula-
tions and there will be no eat-
ing or informal trading on the trains. We advise people not to rely on the train service entirely and to make use of other modes of transportation and also only
to travel if you must,” said Ms Scott.

She added that turnaround times will be longer for trains because they have to be sanitised after every trip.

“The first few days will be a stress-proof plan. This is something we’ve never dealt with before, so we are learning and adjusting as we go and we’re depending on feedback from customers,” she added.

After the stress tests, the parastatal will then try and get the other lines up and running.

“After we get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, we will then start a shuttle service between Retreat and Fish Hoek and then possibly the opening of the Northern Line,” said Ms Scott.

She encouraged commuters to be responsible and to adhere to safety protocols to help contain the virus.