Benoni learner leaves home at 3am to get to school on time | Benoni City Times

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Benoni learner leaves home at 3am to get to school on time | Benoni City Times

Phoenix Durban

Bathabile Ludidi (15) has used a taxi to get to school for three years.

While most of us are still asleep at 3am, Katlehong resident Bathabile Ludidi (15), a Benoni High School learner, leaves home and travels in three different taxis to get to school, which comes down to about R2 000 every month.
Bathabile has been using public transport for three years, and when asked what the experience felt like he said: “When I first started travelling by myself, it was scary as taxi ranks are full of people and it takes a while to get used to the noise and walking out when it is still dark outside.
“I have gotten used to the dark and travelling by myself, it is a different experience now as I get to see different people every day and I also get to see the regular people I travel with. Seeing them puts my mind at ease because I know I am going the right way,” he said.
 Public transport, a way of life despite socio-economic challenges
He also highlighted the challenges he faces when travelling with a taxi:
• Taxis breaking down and waiting for an hour for another to come.
• High cost of taxi fare.
• Crowded, there is no space to sit comfortably.
• People are at risk of getting robbed at the taxi rank.
• During the rainy season you could get wet waiting for a taxi.
When asked what he would like to see change in the public transport system he said: “I think as learners, we should be paying half the price when travelling by taxi as we are still learners and that would decrease the cost for parents to pay.

“I would not advise any learner to travel by taxi. If possible, they should get transport and if it is unavoidable they should be careful,” he said.
Bathabile’s tips for learners travelling with taxis:
• Always look behind you.
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Be quick and walk straight to the taxi.
• Do not talk to strangers.
• If you do not know where you are going, ask a taxi driver.
• Make sure you have all your personal belongings before you leave the taxi.
• Avoid crowded areas at the taxi rank.
• Before you get into a taxi, ask how much the taxi costs.
“The best thing about taxis is when you are in a rush in the morning they can get you where you need to be really quickly.”
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