Sign on a Wits bus Photo: Sithandiwe Mchunu

The ‘No Overload’ sign on Luxliner buses has no meaning during peak hours when large numbers of students wait for the circuit bus.

Luxliner bus drivers complained last year about the overloading in buses as it does not comply with the certificate of fitness which orders that no passengers stand on buses.

The ‘No Overload’ sign was a response by Wits management to the drivers’ complaints. It was implemented to reduce the high number of students who find themselves standing in the overcrowded buses.

Bus drivers said that students who overload the bus sit on the dashboard and the engine cover. In a situation where they have to brake suddenly this could lead to them falling over or backwards into the windscreen as there are no supports. They also said overloading is dangerous as the extra weight on the bus changes its braking capabilities.

“In case of an accident I will be the one to blame as the traffic cops will find me responsible for the overload,” said a bus driver.

Students crowded while getting on a bus. Photo: Sithandiwe Mchunu

Drivers said they find it difficult to leave students behind as they sympathise with them being late for class. Although they have complained to Wits about the lack of buses to make more trips, the situation has not been rectified.

Bongani Jacobs, SRC media and publicity officer, said the overloading can be solved if students wait for buses allocated to their residences, especially the JCE education campus buses.

Kreneshan Gopal, a PDM masters in public policy student, said the situation was ridiculous as during peak hours a high number of students struggle to get into the bus. “For me, being a big size, I have an advantage to get a [seat] because I push my way in.”

Vuvuzela tried to contact Wits Transport Services but they did not respond at the time of going to print.