CT activist Lorenzo Davids takes followers on a ride documenting train commute
- Activist and self-confessed 'train lover' Lorenzo Davids is urging Cape Town residents to give Metrorail another shot
- Davids says officials are clearly working hard to get the train service back on track
- He's been documenting his daily commute on Twitter this week after the Southern Line resumed operations
Capetonian and social justice activist Lorenzo Davids is advocating for more Capetonians to get on board and support Metrorail's recovery plan.
Davids has been documenting his daily Metrorail commute using social media following the service resumption on the Southern Line.
Each day, he's been creating a Twitter thread detailing his journey and experience.
Good morning from the station! It’s a low of 19 and a high of 31 today in Cape Town! So just wear a vest under your shirt. You don’t need a scarf and jersey! You’ll be ok. As usual I’m alone. I’m beginning to think there’s a conspiracy going on to avoid trains! pic.twitter.com/oEVSMvEhGl— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 13, 2022
We are about to enter Cape Town. It’s such a glorious day and moment. I imagine hundreds of trains and thousands of commuters doing this over the next few months. Because we can. Because we should. pic.twitter.com/kFGMHAO15f— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 13, 2022
Although some of the train carriages have been damaged due to vandalism, he says they are in a pristinely clean state.
Davids, who's the CEO of the Development Impact Fund, says he commuted using Cape Town trains for over a decade before the Covid-19 disruptions in 2020.
He believes that Metrorail is slowly improving its offering as part of its revival plan in response to years of stolen and vandalised infrastructure.
The CEO has commended Prasa and Metrorail in the Western Cape for trying to bring stability back into the rail service.
"I get into the carriage in the morning at about 7am and I have not seen a cleaner train around. I can tell you this, somebody somewhere is making an effort to get the service back online", he tells CapeTalk.
He argues that restoring the train service will hinge on providing a reliable train schedule, safety and security, and making commuters feel valued.
Davids says he's been encountering interesting people and overhearing fascinating conversations on his train trips.
I'm back on the train again and I'm simply loving it!Lorenzo Davids, CEO - The Development Impact Fund
The infrastructure inside the train is enormously clean, even though it has been vandalised. Yes, you have broken seats, covers that are gone... but the floors and the seats are clean.Lorenzo Davids, CEO - The Development Impact Fund
I want to encourage my fellow car users to take a risk, take a chance and use the train. It is such fun!Lorenzo Davids, CEO - The Development Impact Fund
I hear the most romantically loving true stories on the train. I record them all. I listen to them, I pen them the moment I hear them. It is a life, it is a world, it is an eco-system that is so important for our wellbeing as a society.Lorenzo Davids, CEO - The Development Impact Fund
The station is adorned in glorious sunlight and shadow. It’s always beautiful. Again, sadly I’m alone on the station. A few birds coo above my head. They seem as surprised that I’m on the station. A random security officer strolls by. pic.twitter.com/bF1GP1bkRL— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 12, 2022
Cape Town weather will be a coolish low of 17 and a high if 21. That means Capetonians will start unpacking their winter clothes. Today it’s scarves and jerseys again.— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 11, 2022
The train is spotlessly clean but the seats are vandalised. The difference in passengers numbers are shocking. 8 years ago - even three years ago this train was packed to the rafters. Now - it’s empty. I’m urging South Africans to reclaim public transport. Don’t abandon it. pic.twitter.com/bu9BszVHLx— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 11, 2022
7:24am the train arrives. It’s neat and clean. Not full. It’s been about 6 months now since I last used the train to work. It’s a quiet crowd. Everyone has that Monday “leave me alone” look on their faces.— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 10, 2022
One lady is still playing Candy Crush on her phone. I thought that died with the pandemic. But she is committed. She does not look up at where we are. Some people have an inbuilt radar to know at any point where the train is.— Lorenzo Davids (@UrbanLo) January 10, 2022
Source : https://twitter.com/UrbanLo/status/1480764838653661184/photo/2