Passengers frustrated by delays as buses are checked

2008-12-21 00:00

THE ongoing crackdown on luxury buses in KwaZulu-Natal has exposed a great deal of consumer dissatisfaction with big bus companies.

Passengers kept waiting at the Mkondeni testing station yesterday while vehicles were checked were frustrated with what they described as “lousy service” by various bus services.

“They are gambling with our lives … The brakes on the entire left side are not working,” said Valerie Setshedi after the bus that she had been travelling back to Johannesburg on was stopped by the Road Traffic Inspectorate.

“I want my money back,” she declared, complaining about having to wait for over an hour. “They are not even telling us what’s happening … They didn’t even promise us a replacement bus. We’ve got things to do. We can’t wait like this.”

Setshedi said they were not supposed to have taken that particular bus in the first place as they paid for Luxliner tickets, “and now they have given us a bus that is probably worth half the price of the ticket”.

“I bought our tickets on December 7 and they gave us a Toot bus instead. It doesn’t even have a toilet … We have children and old people travelling with us and the driver didn’t even stop at a garage,” she said.

To make matters worse, she said, on their way to Durban last week, the Luxliner bus they were on broke down.

Ibrihim Bodhanya, a passenger on another bus, said their driver did not tell them why they were waiting. Bodhanya, who said their bus had arrived at the station close to an hour before, said: “We didn’t even go for a test. Nobody’s saying anything to us about why we are here.”

Some buses were parked at the station for over three hours. Birkrum Singh, a passenger on one of these buses, said they left Durban at 9 am, and at noon they were still waiting to leave Mkondeni.

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