OPINION: ‘Bus trip article baffled me’

DEAR Editor,-

I am a 64-year-old woman from Southport and have travelled with Intercity Xpress for the past 15 years from Port Shepstone to Johannesburg and back. On average I travel every six weeks and I have NEVER experienced any form of problems on the bus.

The drivers are always courteous, even in the face of some very loud, irritating and demanding passengers. They have an incredibly stressful job driving that long distance and reaching the destination safely.

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In all honesty, would a hawker, openly selling water, crisps and sweets be a travelling customer? They do board the bus in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Johannesburg, literally for two minutes and, believe me, passengers buy their goods. Especially on a very hot day, that ice cold bottle of water is very welcome. The bus can never be overloaded, as no one is allowed to stand in the aisle while the bus is moving, which means that seats are occupied.

As for not stopping at the ‘right’ stops – that’s a load of nonsense. The bus stops for a 20 minute break midway in both directions, which is more than enough time to go to the loo and buy a sandwich or snack for the road. The driver clearly indicates the break of 20 minutes and requests everyone be back in their seats by that time.

All other stops at designated places are to offload or pick up passengers only.

As for the toilet being messy, on the odd occasion I have used the loo, it has been fine, bearing in mind it is there for emergencies for the 40-odd passengers on board, so it cannot possibly be as ‘clean’ as one would like it to be.

The price of the ticket is so reasonable that it suits many people who otherwise would not be able to travel. The safety of all passengers is a priority for the bus company. Police have boarded the bus on numerous occasions and searched passengers for concealed weapons or other.

I feel totally safe whether I travel during the day or at night. It is real value for money and there is no more convenient and safe way for me to get to Johannesburg and back. I take my hat off to them. May they continue for many years to come.




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Lesley Spada

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