The concept of filling up a public transport bus with both seated and standing passengers might be new to a community that have been making use of mostly minibus taxis before, but is standard procedure all over the world.
“Standing is permitted on the lower part of the bus floor in the midi- and standard buses, but not allowed in minibuses,” says James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager. “During peak travel periods, we encourage passengers to stand when all seats have been taken, as this will help them reach their destination sooner, rather than waiting for the next bus to arrive.”
According to Robb, a midi- or standard size bus is not full until all the seats are taken and full standing capacity has been reached, with the permitted passenger numbers displayed in each bus.
The midibus can carry 40 seated passengers, one wheelchair and 38 standing passengers while the standard bus has capacity for 44 seated-, one wheelchair- and 40 standing passengers. Drivers are obligated to stop at all bus stops on their routes if there are passengers waiting to board, and the bus is not full yet.
“Failure to pick up waiting passengers while the bus has not reached full capacity is inconsiderate, unacceptable and an infringement of the GO GEORGE contract terms,” says Robb. “While the Operating Company could incur a penalty should this happen, a failure to fill buses adds to the cost of providing the service, and possibly to the cost of your ticket.”
Red priority seats are reserved for the elderly, pregnant women, adults accompanying small children and people with special needs. Passengers are required to give up these seats for anyone in one of these categories since they are positioned to be accessible to such passengers.
Particular attention has been given to passenger safety on the buses, including safety features for standing passengers such as vertical grab rails, straps and handrails on the seatbacks. According to Robb they are currently installing a lower horizontal rail as well, to allow more stability for standing passengers.
“With GO GEORGE, George has joined the ranks of metro- and international public transport services, operating according to those principles and standards. We are confident that our passengers will adapt to that which is new, and embrace the benefits that come with our affordable, scheduled, safe and accessible service,” Robb says.