By NOMAMPONDO PLAATJIE
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) increased the number of busses they have. More busses ran from Monday 14 May 2012 and everything went smoothly until the following Wednesday.
Early Wednesday 16 May, the service was interrupted by angry taxi drivers.
An email was sent to all students to notify them of the delayed buses. It was only after two days that the taxi drivers had noticed the purpose of the Blunden buses. The taxi drivers are angry with the institution, and shouted that this service was taking away their business.
The shuttle service was introduced to save students money on travel expenses.
Laboria Residence’s bus driver said he saw one of the men breaking a window on one of the Blunden buses. “I saw the Blunden bus driver running away,” he said. He said that he believes the Blunden driver left the keys in the bus when he ran away.
The shuttles travel from Central, Port Elizabeth to NMMU. The service resumed after the trouble. The shuttles were travelling according to scheduled times for the remainder of the day.
Trouble started again the following day when a few NMMU students were waiting for the buses. They were threatened with knobkerries and sjamboks. They were chased and told to either take a taxi or go home.
NMMU student, Mncedi Tetese, was waiting for a shuttle to South Campus with another group of waiting students, when a few taxi drivers approached them. Tetese said, “They were ready to beat us up.” The students fled from the bus stop.
“I ran away leaving my backpack behind,” Tetese said. He said he then took a taxi to the university. The taxi driver changed the normal route as soon as he spotted a traffic officer along the way Tetese told nmmyou reporter
An email notification was sent to students stating that the buses can only travel between the Summerstrand Campuses. It went on to say that they were experiencing some problems with the bus to its Missionvale Campus. The Blunden Buses resumed their service for the rest of the day.
Another email was sent to say that the inter-campus shuttle service will run according to schedule up until the end of May. Further communication is deemed to follow.