I AM an avid and consistent user of the Libhongolethu IPTS bus service and would like to share my experience of the service with the public.
Since the last week of February, I have been using the service, especially the Greenacres-NMMU route, and I am impressed with the courtesy and general manners from staff, and the world class style buses that are in operation. However there are some key issues that need some urgent attention.
The main issue that most users are unhappy about is the waiting time at the main terminal at the Lillian Diedricks hub when taking a transfer to another line. The buses need to display the names of the areas they are on route to on the electronic display boards the buses are equipped with.
The displays did work at the beginning, but they have recently stopped using them. I believe if the displays show the current destinations the buses will be fuller.
All stops must have the timetable on them to educate the general public on what time intervals buses arrive at various stops. I understand that the service is still in the pilot phase of the project, but there should be no excuse why it should not operate professionally and efficiently.
The public is also not very aware of how the system works.
More marketing must be done by, for example, having a dedicated website much like the Johannesburg's Rea Vaya BRT, for the service where people can find out more information.
Smart cards should be introduced and the extension plans to go to more areas in the Bay such as Cleary Park and Westering/Linton Grange should be expedited.
The Bay has been waiting for such a transport system for a long time and the people of the metro want to embrace it, but the service must iron out these kinks.
I am a marketing student at NMMU and fuel costs are sky rocketing. It costs on average R2000 a month to get from Cleary Park to the Second Avenue campus by car which is quite costly.
When the new bus routes are introduced, I would like to rely completely on the service, but by then I hope most of these teething issues are sorted out.
I am not complaining, but merely making suggestions to improve the situation for all commuters because I want this IPTS system to be a success and I am a major supporter of the service.
J Bruinders, Hillside, Port Elizabeth