THE students living in Student Digz Accommodation in Hillbrow will no longer have to use public transport to get to Wits campuses.

Since Tuesday, April 9, a new bus stop has been added to the existing route between Rennie House and Wits Education Campus.

The new stop added to bus Route Two is a test run to see if it will be viable to introduce more off-campus residence bus stops in Braamfontein and Parktown, as well as a night shuttle service, to provide students living in the area with a safe alternative to public transport.

“This is a pilot project until the end of mid-year exams and we will further look at solutions for the second semester,” said Timothy Mudau, transport operations manager at Wits University.

At the beginning of this year “the request came through the Office of the Dean of Students and the Student Representative Council (SRC), the main requester of this service” Mudau said.

Katlego Sera, SRC member and campus wellness and advisory officer, said the new stop was requested “in response to a number of things, but primarily it is a safety issue”.

Sera said “the growing number of first-year students has led to more students living in off-campus residences. Some students come from a different city and often do not know how to get around in Johannesburg, so we had to do something about it.”

He told Wits Vuvuzela he hoped the added stop would be the first step in providing students living in off-campus residences with access to the Wits bus system.

B.Ed student Nandidha Nduzulwana said it was “an inconvenience to many of us who use this bus, because it is an added stop that not many people use and it can make us late”.

Bus driver Johannes Motona said “it is not even a two-kilometre difference” but the added stop required him to travel down Jorissen Street, where “traffic in the evenings may delay [the bus] by up to an hour because of the way that taxis stop on that road”.

Motona expressed concern over the safety of the area as “there is nowhere to park, so I have to just stop in the middle of the road and let the students off”.