Public transport: Convenient or perilous?
From an early age, we depend on our parents and guardians to transport us to our various destinations. Whether it is to and from school, to a friend’s house or to a social gathering, we expect to be escorted there and back whenever it suits us. However, there comes a time when we are expected to start becoming self-reliant and learn to find our own way around the chaotic twists and turns of the world.
No one can evade the use of public transport forever because at one point or another, one’s parents or guardians can be overwhelmed by various obligations of a higher priority. They say, “The first time is always the hardest,” and this is particularly true concerning the use of public transport. One can be easily consumed by the vast crowds of the Railway Station or the Bus Rank and confounded by the countless routes all leading to one place. Nevertheless, a number of M-a-P students use public transport on a daily basis so their parents are not inconvenienced, as they may have demanding occupations or tight schedules.
Economical as it may be, public transport is painfully time consuming because it is often indirect and one usually has to take more than one minibus in order to reach the destination. “It usually takes me about two hours at most to get home after football practice sessions which last until five o’clock and by the time I get home, I’ll be too tired to get much of anything done.” commented Uhuru Mompe, a Form 4 student who uses public transport on a regular basis. The use of public transport quite obviously interferes with students’ schoolwork as some students often get little or no sleep when making up for lost time.
The fear of getting mugged is one of the most common reasons students refrain from using public transport. “It all depends on what time you leave school because public transport is only risky when it gets dark. I avoid walking around with a cell phone or large amounts of money whenever it is possible because I’ve been mugged one too many times.” added Mpho Rapinyana, another Form 4 student who unfortunately, has been a victim of numerous mugging incidents. Most students would rather wait until well into the night for their parents rather than risk getting mugged and who can blame them? Nobody should ever have to hand over their valuables to dodgy characters while a sharp knife is pointed threateningly at their neck.
“Preparation is key. All you have to do is find secret pockets in which to hide your valuables then make sure you bags aren’t too heavy so that you are able to run if something happens and lastly, leave at an appropriate time because it is unsafe, especially for girls, to be walking around in the dead of night. Personally, I would rather just wait for my mother anyway.” stated Natasha Tapela, a student who quite dislikes public transport. Convenient and cost effective as it may be, public transport has its risks and we all need to be careful how we go about using it.