KEVIN VAN DER LIST
SRC transport survey results indicated that students are interested in using a bus service that would operate between Hatfield campus and the neighbouring areas. The survey ran for a month and gauged the demand for a bus service to operate from main campus to Arcadia, Sunnyside, Hatfield and Muckleneuk. After reports of students sleeping on campus due to a lack of affordable transport and nearby accommodation surfaced, the SRC launched the survey hoping to establish how big the need for a bus service is.
The survey was completed by 916 students with the majority of the respondents living in Hatfield (34%), Arcadia (29%), Sunnyside (28%) and Muckleneuk (9%). Here are a few statistics from the survey:
92% of the sample said that they would be interested in a bus service to the four areas.
82% of the respondents were willing to pay R3,00 per bus trip.
Just under 60% of the students walked to campus.
82% sometimes walked back home late at night.
46% of the respondents said they would want the bus service to run hourly.
According to Jordan Griffiths, SRC member for Transport, Justice and Constitutions, the SRC are hoping to implement the bus service during October and November this year. They are looking to run two 130-seater buses for these two months. The buses will depart from UP’s main entrance to the chosen areas.
Griffiths added, “Clearly, from the survey, there are lots of students living around the university who walk to classes and would benefit greatly from a bus service.
Essentially, our goal is that with the extended times in the library, students will be able to stay on campus to study longer hours and not have to worry about getting home.” He hoped that students who have to walk home in the evenings will no longer have to do this. “It is just not safe,” he said.
Deputy Director of Facilities Management Wessel Oosthuizen said UP is analysing the data from the survey. “The SRC and UP are in close and continuous consultation to establish the viability of a bus service to the residential areas around the Hatfield campus,” he said.
Oosthuizen added that it is difficult to say when the bus service will be implemented and that “UP will always strive to provide for the needs of students in cases where the merit of the requirement of certain services can be proven and [where funds are available].”
Griffith’s said that funding was one of the biggest concerns. According to the SRC’s proposal to Facilities Management, transport services have said that the bus service will be “difficult to implement because the issue of where the buses would run would have to be determined.”
The survey’s respondents indicated that they would want the bus service’s route to include Park, Beckett, Jorrissen, Arcadia, Lunnon, Esselen, Walker and Schoeman streets.