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#busstrike: Long-distance bus travellers left in lurch

Western Cape
Cape Town – Long-distance bus travellers who had booked to travel with Autopax and Greyhound bus services had no option but to queue for refunds after the services were cancelled.

The suspension of the services was due to the national bus strike, which followed a deadlock in wage negotiations and a dispute over working hours.

Autopax, the company which Translux and City to City fall under, confirmed that no buses were operating.

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File picture: Henk Kruger/Independent Media

“Autopax is affected by the bus strike, no buses left this morning,” spokesperson Nozipho Jafta said.

Over Easter more than 20000 Autopax long-distance travellers would be affected by the strike, Jafta said.

The company’s management was meeting the unions in the hope of reaching a solution, she said.

Greyhound also issued a public announcement on its Facebook page: “Note: All routes for April 12 are cancelled. Credit card refunds/re-bookings will be offered at all Greyhound outlets and call centre. Cash refunds will be offered at any Shoprite/Checkers store countrywide. Refunds can only be done if original ticket is presented. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

ON Wednesday afternoon the scene at the station deck was chaotic as bus commuters scrambled for taxis.

Taxi driver Patrick Habonimana said the morning was busy, but no more than usual.

He felt it was right that the bus drivers were striking.

Commuter Luka Williams struggled to catch a taxi, because there was much confusion on the roads, he said.

A striking bus driver who wished to remain anonymous said his working conditions were “really problematic” and he “wasn’t ready to come back to work yet”.

On Wednesday when the Cape Argus visited the long-distance bus terminus in Cape Town, a Greyhound bus was dropping passengers at the station. There was no sign of any Autopax buses.

At the Autopax bus counter a handful of people had come to collect their refunds.

One family was supposed to leave on an afternoon bus to Queenstown. They had arrived at the terminus ready to travel, only to be informed that the services had been cancelled.

“This is a huge inconvenience and is costing us,” said a would-be passenger.

Cape Argus

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