02 July, 2011
The National Arts Festival has finally arrived after much anticipation. And so have the crowds.
Blunden Coach Tours founded in Port Elizabeth in 1970 are the official transporters for the duration of the Festival. Available are private cabs as well as the Hopper busses which are colour coded and run certain routes.
There are however some concerns when it comes to the Hopper Bus service as there have been various complaints about the service. The public have been left waiting at the relevant stops for these busses for almost an hour. However, according to the company the Hoppers are supposed to be running every fifteen minutes and when the issue of delay was brought to light, the problem was defended by blaming general traffic, the awkward placing of stalls and cars parked in bad places. In addition to this, the company states that commuters are ‘confused’ and do not have maps and are therefore standing at the wrong stops.
One of the Hopper bus drivers mentioned that advertising has been done but could have possibly not been efficient. “I noticed problems, everyone complains that they can’t get to places and every time someone jumps in there is always a complaint.” He continued to say; “circumstances determine our arrival, we are constantly on the move, we eat and drink while we drive, to keep people happy.”
How efficient is this service and their advertising? Car guards on the main roads of Grahamstown are unable to direct people to the bus stops as they either do not know where the stops are or do not even know what a Hopper bus is. Hopefully as the duration of the Festival continues, the transportation will get better.