Hosken Passenger Logistics & Rail (HPLR), the operators of Golden Arrow Buses in Cape Town, have proposed to the government that it take over some of the Western Cape’s embattled passenger rail services.
Despite having “rail” in its name, HPLR only operates Golden Arrow Buses in Cape Town is its main profit engine.
HPLR’s CEO, Francois Meyer said the group had held discussions with the Western Cape provincial administration and the national government around participating in rail services.
According to the Financial Mail, rail commuter services have reached their worst performance level of all time. Metrorail recorded 543-million paying passengers in 2014, and by 2018 this number had dropped by just over 50% to 269-million.
In particular, the Western Cape rail network has experienced large-scale disruptions due to cable theft, vandalism and arson.
Meyer said the national government and Prasa were given a detailed proposal for HPLR’s involvement in rail services. “We have spent between R600,000 and R700,000 on the proposal, showing that we have the skills to operate in rail and that we are already starting to apply ourselves.”
However, Meyer only expects an outcome to the proposed deal in five years time.
More: Financial Mail