Illegal boarding on trains from Soshanguve is on the rise as commuters claim to have no money or to be unhappy with service, reports the Pretoria North Rekord.
However, according to operator Metrorail, there were risks attached to boarding without a valid ticket.
Thabo Tlou of Soshanguve Block L uses the train every day during the week but says he has not paid for his return trips, as he just sneaks in unnoticed.
Tlou says when returning from work at night, he has noticed that there are no security guards at his station, so he decided to join other commuters who don’t buy tickets.
Abel Mokwele of Mabopane Block B adds that sometimes the train is not on time or simply does not arrive, so if he had already bought a ticket, he has to skip work on that day because he doesn’t have enough money to buy a ticket and a taxi fare.
“I do not buy a ticket because my boss told me that if I am late again, he will fire me. I keep the money to buy a ticket for emergencies, such as when the train does not arrive as scheduled,” Mokwele says.
Another commuter, Mike Mogoshi, notes that he uses a train when job hunting and sneaks in because he does not have money for a ticket. “I will buy a ticket when I get a job but for now I have to take my chances,” he says.
Spokesperson of Metrorail Gauteng Lillian Mofokeng says illegal boarding of trains was a serious offence and risky. She says transgressors will have to pay the normal fare for their trip and a R40 penalty when caught.
“The Metrorail insurance cover is only for commuters in possession valid train tickets,” she says, adding commuters not in possession of a ticket can not be compensated if they get hurt in an accident.
– Caxton News Service