I am a loyal Tshwane business express passenger. I am not driving to Johannesburg any more thanks to this train. By the time you reach your destination (Pretoria and Jhb) you have read two free newspapers (Sowetan and The Star) had a morning coffer of your choice (hot chocolate, gone through emails even had made Skype calls) this is all only from R870.00 per month. The success of the led to PRASA introducing the second train that leaves earlier at 05h40 and the second train leaving at 06H15. The Second train even helps to take Pretoria passenger. Everyone was happy at that time.
The reservations are have about this is that even though when we were lured into this train we were told this will be standard, over a very short period of time these services are altered without any communication to paying customers.
1. Two newspapers in the morning
Sowetan that they use to give us with The Star they just stopped giving it to us without telling us anything.
2. Variety of drink in was reduced as well no more hot chocolate in the middle of winter only Coffee and Rooibos is available.
3. Parking was chaotic at first in the beginning it is still disorganized but it is better much better than in the beginning when they were still going trough teething problems.
4. One was guaranteed to be in Johannesburg or Pretoria on time not 1hour as they claim, but it was at least 1h15 on time almost all the time. This was because it was given preferential treatment on tracks if there was a problem on the way. How things have changed, the fact that we still pay R870.00 means nothing, as the traveling time can be anything between 1h30 minutes to 5hour.
5. On Friday the 18th of March 2011 things came to a crunch when the train Manager Mr. Leshilo exchanged insults with passengers as he tried to address passengers on why middle Carriages of the train did not have anything to drink for the past three weeks and counting.
Passenger were very upset especially when this explanation comes just two days after this train arrived in Pretoria at 22h00 and the only passengers who were taken care of were Pretoria. Those who disembarked in Kempton Park and Centurion were left to fend for themselves. The manager even wanted one passenger to be arrested far saying a hostess is just a tea hostess. This was in the heat of the moment where the manager said one passenger is a Taxi Driver, which I am not sure, what he thinks of them.
As all this is happening passengers are still paying the same R870.00 even though PRASA is obviously making a profit by reducing its services to the passengers. Is it not time the passenger’s request reduction in ticket price?