Train. Photo: SUPPLIED

Considering what happened on Friday night, there’s another investigation that couldn’t happen any sooner.

And that is the Public Protector’s probe into Metrorail’s service in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape Legislature’s Standing Committee on Transport and Public Works has asked the office to look into mismanagement at Metrorail that’s led to inadequate infrastructure, safety concerns, delays and cancellations.

In July alone, more than R50 million worth of fire damage was caused to 32 coaches.

But none of that compares to the violent robbery that happened on the Northern Line on Friday evening.

Between five and 10 armed men robbed passengers between Lynedoch and Eerste River stations and then threw several of them from the moving train.

One of the men who was flung from the train died.

These kinds of brazen robberies are, of course, nothing new.

The last big one happened in February when four ticket controllers were attacked on a full train during the morning peak - also on the Northern Line.

So between this sort of cowardly violence and people who set trains alight without warning, what are we passengers supposed to do?

Of course fingers continue to point at Metrorail for not ensuring that their service is safe.

And, yes, I’m pretty sure some of the blame can and must go to Metrorail management.

But there are some very pertinent questions we all need to ask ourselves.

Firstly why are our trains suddenly becoming such an ongoing target?

Why does there appear to be such a concerted effort to turn people off using the trains? And who stands to benefit from something like that?

Even if this investigation results in a complete overhaul of Metrorail management, there is just no conceivable way that even new determined executives will be able to patrol every single train and every bit of rail line around the clock and still keep ticket prices relatively low.

The only thing left to do is us defending our right to have safe and clean trains.

To quote a line from Denzil Washington’s Equalizer 2, which I saw this weekend: “do the thing that everybody says anybody can do, but nobody ever does.”