In London they have a famous saying "Mind the gap" which is what the automated voice in the tube stations tells you ad nauseum. Well, we gonna have to have a "Watch the bus" chant for a while. The municipality is finally launching the integrated transport system today....yes, a fine asset to our city, despite being 3 years overdue.
"Watch the bus" is gonna have to be your mantra when you drive the from the freeway through to NMMU route along the beachfront. Cos these things are gonna be running regularly (supposedly every 10 minutes).....and the hiccup is that most of the bus stops along Beach Road/Marine Drive are NOT pull offs. They are just right there in the traffic lane...meaning pay attention else you'll be rear-ending buses all day long. Or getting side-swiped by ou's trying to pull out into the next lane from behind the bus whilst it's stopped.
Be especially careful as you come off the freeway heading to the beach, as there's a stop (inconveniently) placed just after the road bends before you go past the gym. My money's on some fender benders there pretty soon!
A cash only system means that stops won't be quick. So be patient of you stuck behind one. No idea why they couldn't have fitted a card swipe system - quicker, and safer - cos no cash on board. You'll be surprised how often the buses get robbed in this town!
The name of the new system is a bit of a mouthful .... "Libhongolethu". Maybe they thought calling it "Late" was too obvious? Libhongolethu means Our Pride. We are proud that after 3 years we finally have this thing on the road! Seriously though, let's hold thumbs it works, cos if it does it will be an excellent asset to the town. We're all just a little jaded about whether things will work out as planned...so let's see!
The main route of interest for those wanting to get to the beach is Route 302: PE CBD- NMMU. The Start point is the Lillian Diedericks building, Govan Mbeki Ave, and it runs through to the NMMU South Campus. Buses are meant to run 06:30- 20:00 (weekday) and 07:00-20:00( Saturday & Sunday) at 10 minute intervals in peak times.