KEVIN VAN DER LIST
UP students living in Arcadia and Sunnyside are still without a bus service.
On 23 April, in an article titled “Students sleeping on campus”, Perdeby reported that the SRC and COPE@TUKS wanted to introduce a bus service for students residing in Arcadia and Sunnyside.Students were sleeping on campus due to a lack of affordable transport and nearby accommodation.According to Jordan Griffiths, SRC member for Transport, Justice and Constitutions, the proposed bus service has not yet been implemented. “We are looking to expand [the bus service]. It is something that is on the agenda at facilities management.”
He added, “There appears to be a certain demand for [the service] and if it is advertised well, it will be implemented.” However, he further stated that there are financial constraints and these would first have to be investigated.
Of the private residences in Arcadia and Sunnyside, only Urban Nest has a bus service to and from Hatfield Campus. Griffiths said that the other residences have fewer students than Urban Nest and the university is looking to expand services.According to Residence Transport Manager Herkie Smit, “[The] first responsibility is towards the residence students. That is why [our department] issues them with bus identity cards, so that the bus driver can make sure who is boarding the bus. If there is space open then other non-residence students are allowed on the bus.” Smit said that this is a result of financial constraints. “[O]ur department can’t afford to introduce more buses on the route, which will be the result if it is free for all,” said Smit.
According to Griffiths, a facilities meeting was held in which the cost of a bus service was investigated. If implemented, the bus service will operate from Sci-Enza to Campus House, Hantra, Walkerville and Urban Nest. The buses will run between 20:00 and 22:00.The SRC did implement a bus service for Groenkloof students during the June exams and this bus service correlated with the extended library hours. It was canceled by Transport Services due to a lack of interest from students.
As a result, the SRC is in the process of launching a survey to gauge whether a bus service to Arcadia and Sunnyside is worthwhile. The survey will be posted on the UP portal and will determine the interest and location of students. Griffiths urges students who are in need of transport to come forward and lodge a complaint. This will help the SRC to implement the bus service.
Photo: Gloria Mbogoma