College students who take the autorickshaw or bus narrate their experiences
Commuting is an everyday aspect in a student’s life. Apart from thinking about assignment deadlines and which chapter to read up before entering class the next day, how to reach college safely and on time is always on a student’s mind. While some colleges offer transport facility to their students, some don’t. Even in colleges that offer the facility, many students choose not to use it due to convenience and cost factors. For many, especially in the rural areas, the everyday commute to college and back is often hours long, unsavoury and unsafe.
The Hindu EducationPlus spoke to some students about their experiences of travelling to and fro colleges via different modes of transport.
Gayathri K.A., final year knitwear design, National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
I have been in Bangalore for the last four years and never come across an autorickshaw agreeing to commute by meter. The fare they demand is irrational most of the times, making it very difficult for students like us. I operate with limited pocket money, so overspending is not an option. Our college provides bus transport for industrial visits. It may sound bizarre but I pay Rs. 350 from HSR Layout to Commercial Street when I travel for procuring my fabric and design material. In case it is early morning or late in the evening, I happen to pay double the fare. My paying guest accommodation is located approximately 2 km away from college.
Devi S., third year engineering, Dr. T. Thimmaiah Institute of Technology, Kolar
My college provides transport facility but I prefer personal transport because I can use my vehicle for personal work and it saves time. My college is located 5-6 km from home and I usually start at 8 a.m. I have a two-wheeler and I feel absolutely safe moving around the town. It’s a small place compared to Bangalore which is why the experience varies. I approximately spend around Rs. 100 a week if I ride from home to college and back.
Dinesh S.U., final year Master’s in Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Bangalore University
I make use of the bus transport facility provided by Bangalore University. The transportation is good and I pay around Rs. 600 a year as the bus fare which is subsidised for university students. My college is located 15 km from home. Lectures start at 10.15 a.m., so I start from home based on the bus timings. In my first year, while travelling in a BMTC bus, I was pickpocketed and even lost my mobile phone. I feel that college transport is much safer and more convenient.
Aathira Sugathan, MS trainee in IT at Wipro
My paying guest accommodation is located in Madiwala. I travel by bus from Madiwala to Electronics City everyday for my training. The buses are usually overcrowded and I find it unsafe. Men usually try to lean on us and movement in the bus becomes uncomfortable. The auto drivers create a nuisance by taking longer routes instead of the specified ones for which I pay more than the right fare.
Shrishti Bansal, second year engineering student, Christ University, Kengeri
My main problem is with autorickshaws. They, especially those on the outskirts, charge one-and-a-half times more than the usual fare post sunset. According to the law, it is applicable only after 10 p.m. but they take advantage of the students’ needs. This is one of the major problems while commuting in Kengeri. My paying guest accommodation is located 2 km from college, so early morning I commute by a BMTC bus and sometimes by autorickshaw.