Issues

Let your bike rest in peace

How does the average Bangalore student travel? Getting around Bangalore during peak traffic hours is a pain, and so an increasing number of students are using public transport to get to college and go around the city.

Students said that travelling by bus and auto helps them avoid the headache of negotiating bad roads and still make it to where they want to be on time. It might take longer and be more crowded, but many students felt that riding in a packed bus was well worth the hassle due to its convenience and the cheaper fares. Many students also believed the Metro would help them commute around the city. Here are excerpts:

Varun Chhabria (Commits): There isn't much of a choice in terms of transport. Whether travelling by bus or car, it would be the same. It's sometimes harder to come by bus, but it is equally tiring to take my car for the 18 km between home and college. However, I use buses most of the time and occasionally take an auto, but only when I have to. Buses are generally far cheaper. I spend about Rs. 40 to 60 on bus fares from home to college and back, whereas a one-way trip by auto would cost me Rs. 100.

As far as I can tell, the Metro really wouldn't help me at all. So far, it only connects inner Bangalore. If officials really want to increase connectivity, they'll have to find a way to connect outer areas of Bangalore to the inner ones.

Koyal Chengappa (Sristi School of Art, Design and Technology): I travel from Indiranagar to Yelahanka every day. In the morning, there's a bus provided by the college, but in the evening I generally take two buses, which takes a long time, especially if it's raining.

It takes me about one-and-a-half hours to get home if it's raining. It's tiring but it costs only Rs. 27 for a trip. Sometimes people ask me if it's worth the tiring journey. I think it is.

But now, I'm fed up with public buses and even if I finish early, I try to wait for the college bus which departs at 5:30 p.m. A car would perhaps make things easier, but it would come at such a price — my parents would be paranoid all the time! It's also far too expensive to use autos all the way, though I sometimes catch one from Shivajinagar.

Comfortable

However, I feel that because college forces me to use public transport so often, I've become very comfortable with it. On the other hand, using public transport at night still makes me feel a little queasy, but I'm becoming fine with it.

Saurabh Srivastava (IIM-B): I don't get much time to go off campus, but when I do go out, I mostly take an auto to save time. It's better than taking a bus because it's faster and autos can also go to specific addresses, for example, inside colonies.

Using private transport depends on the day, but driving in Bangalore is usually a nightmare. As for the Metro, I've lived in Delhi for five years and found it really useful. There's no haggling, it is cheap, everyone wants to use it!

Aayush Agharwal (B.E., PESIT): I mostly use public transport to get to college. The service is quite convenient. Wherever I go, I usually find buses. They are cheaper and I spend no more than Rs. 700 per month on transport.

Using my own vehicle would be tedious because of traffic and I try to avoid using autos for places outside of four-kilometre radius. However, while the public bus services in general are good as of now, they could be better.

The buses do reach all the major places, but there could be changes to reach smaller areas as well, where you are forced to take autos. I think more people should use public transport because it is more eco-friendly and cost-effective. I am also hoping the Metro will help people commute more easily across the city.

Ankita Rao (II year, St. Joseph's College of Commerce): I generally use private transport one way to college and then use autos. The fare per day comes to about Rs. 50. I find autos easy and convenient because you don't need to worry about things such as parking and the crazy traffic in the city.

I think once the Metro comes up, travelling around the city will be easier. It's quite expensive travelling by auto and so I'm looking forward to the Metro's completion.

Sindhu R. (B.E., BNMIT): I do have a car of my own, but I prefer public transport. It's difficult to find parking in the city and it's far more eco-friendly to use public transport.

I tend to use autos because I'm not really well informed about bus services. The amount I spend on transport comes to about Rs. 300 per month.

I usually take the car out only for long distances or when it's tough to find public transport.

Jithin Joseph (B.E., UVCE): I use the BMTC yearly pass offered to students. It costs Rs. 1,700 and provides the best transportation you can get.

Using the bus is far more economical and the tickets cost much less.

A bike might be faster, but parking is always a headache. I used to spend about Rs. 30 a day on transport, but since I've taken the bus pass, it's much cheaper.

Also, once you're on the bus you don't have to worry about anything else, you can just talk to a friend. And even if you get lost, you can always take a bus back to the centre of the city and then come back home. However, having people around is much safer when taking the bus at night.

As for the Metro, I doubt if it will really help me commute. I like Bangalore's public transport system, but it could be more organised and be made more user-friendly.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 8:23:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/let-your-bike-rest-in-peace/article2462458.ece

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