Friday, August 13, 2010

Metrobus timetable - a nightmare.

Ask anyone who has visited Metrobus website to check their timetable and they will tell you that the timetable is so hard to understand. Besides the timetable lacking a simple map that shows the routes taken by their buses, the timetable is complicated and does not advice how someone who wants to make a connection should do that.

Take for instance myself, I stay in Windsor West and work in Rivonia and I did not know that If I want to take a bus to work I had to take a bus to town first, get off at corner of Hofmeyer Drive and Beyers Naude Drive and connect with a bus coming from Sophiatown. Just nowhere on their timetable does it says so, not even their website has anywhere where they mention where connections can be made. Even now, I can't figure out which bus from my neighborhood I will have to take to the place that I have to make the connection.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the information is not there, I am just saying one will have to sweat to figure out the timetable though I must mention that on top of the buses there is information that specifies their zone number together with where the buses are coming going, via which suburb and the destination of the buses. But that alone waste time as new passengers have to ask drivers if their destinations are covered. Take for instance a bus that goes from FOURWAYS TO SOWETO VIA BRYANSTON, a passenger who is going to Randburg will still ask the driver if the bus goes via Randburg because the bus can still cover Bryanston and head to Randburg. Take a look at Rea Vaya's bus routes map and their times and I am sure you will wish Metrobus had something similar for its users (Though the two companies are run by the City of Johannesburg, it will be wise for them to be integrated in the future to minimize competition and a huge subsidy bill. Integration of Public Transport in South Africa is also long due)

To solve this issue, I believe that Metrobus (and all other operators that receives state subsidies and preferably working together) should be forced to introduce their bus routes map which indicate their full network, bus stops and bus times which can be accessible to everyone. By everyone I am including for those passengers who find themselves taking Metrobus for the first time without planning. Such passengers can be provided with a route map indicating the timetable in the bus stops similar for Gautrain's buses (My appologies that my picture cant show clearly what I want to talk about, but the pole behind the gentleman shows that this is a Gautrain bus stop, and just below that big sign is a map showing the routes that the bus takes and the timetable. Below is an example of the route map one finds in the bus stop, courtesy of Rosebank Killarney Gazette)

If Metrobus wants to realise its vision of being "......a world-class African bus service across the greater Johannesburg metro", then surely it needs to ensure that its timetable is easy and understandable, accessible and readily available but not only for the current passengers but for visitors as well.


Marc said...

Hello there. I feel your pain. That is why I have created such a map (work in progress). Look for Johannesburg Metrobus/BRT map in Google maps. It was you who gave me the idea. Metrobus have recently started e-mailing individual route maps. They are very good. Not all routes are available however. Love your work

Anonymous said...

i take a bus that goes to eastgate every evening and we have been having a problem with our driver for the past six months and we feel like no one cares about us because theres only black people in the bus please help us we really needthe driver to be removed on the route

thank you

nic said...

I'll add to this 2 year old thread just because the Metrobus service does make me irate. I also use the Braamfontein to Eastgate route - at least when I can because too often it happens that the scheduled bus just doesn't show up, especially when it's raining or it's Friday afternoon. Buses to other areas will regularly pass the busstop (Eland's Park gets enviable bus service) or they'll simply not be marked at all. The Metrobus schedule is fiction for route 32. Better to use your own intuition, tax your patience, catch a taxi or walk.

Anonymous said...


I used to travel with metro bus from newlands to selby and no longer bother utilising the service, as the bus that should arrive between 17h00 and 17h30 never did arrive anyway on most occasions, let alone the over the festive period.

the commuters service definately needs a complete make over, or do you just cater for a catergorised class of commuters?