WITS’ new circuit bus system has come under heavy criticism following a stampede that happened at the Education campus on Sunday.
Wits students were involved in a stampede while trying to board a single bus, apparently serving students from several residences, on Sunday. The incident happened at Wits Education campus where students from various residences had converged to catch a bus to Rosebank as part of a new bus system implemented by Wits Services.
The new system which came in effect on March 1, requires all res students to travel to Education campus in order to catch a bus to Rosebank. The new arrangement has inconvenienced many commuters.
“On Sunday, the bus left the students who usually catch the bus outside Junction and fetched Junction Residence [students] who have their own bus,” said Nontobeko Nkosi, 2nd year LLB.
Previously, Wits students who stay in the surrounding student accommodations near Junction were picked up by buses on the street. But under the new system the buses now pick up students inside Junction, meaning students who stay in other residences cannot always access the bus.
Wits Vuvuzela has attempted to contact Wits Bus services spokesperson Nicki McGee but has not yet received a response.
House Committee chairperson for Knockando Hall, Ivhani Maselesele, said he’s found the new bus system “convenient” for him. “For the first time, the bus stops at Knockando, it takes us to JCE, where we then take the Rosebank bus. At first, we used to walk to EOH.”
However, Dankie Mokwena, chairperson from Jubilee Hall, said the new system was inconvenient for main campus students.
“The schedule is very inconvenient. What’s even more concerning is the rate at which management keeps making changes without finding out from students how they are affected.”
According to Mokwena, the House committees are trying to find a solution with management.
“We have suggested that there are better solutions and have highlighted the fact that management cannot complain about costs if our fees keep going up every year.”
Changes on new bus schedule became effective from the March 1. These include buses leaving every 30 minutes instead of every 15 under the previous schedule. The only stops for the Rosebank bus, are in Parktown (at Junction Residence and Education Campus). A reverse circuit bus has been on weekends, during the day.