Credit: Eva Merritt

Are students not on board?

By Claire Thomson

Confusing timetables and inherent delays associated with buses make them inaccessible and stressful for students.

Students and the bus: you’d think it would be a match made in heaven. Travelling around and exploring different places is such an important part of university life, and to most people, the bus would sound like a perfect solution. However, more and more Glasgow students are constantly swerving away from this method of transport and opting for a more expensive way to get around. Whilst the bus might not be the most glamorous, it definitely falls in line with the student budget, so why are students not using the services?

Personally, I’ll be the first to admit that I would rather travel by almost any other means of transport than take the bus. I would even go as far as to walk (obviously depending on the distance) to avoid a dreaded double-decker. That’s not to say that I would never ride the bus, I just believe that there are many other less stressful ways to get from point A to point B. 

“I would even go as far as to walk (obviously depending on the distance) to avoid a dreaded double-decker.”

Many people believe that buses are a lower class mode of transport, and only associate negative images and connotations with them. And yes, it cannot be denied that buses are sometimes not the cleanest: they often smell strange and you get a draft every time the door opens, but this is definitely not the majority of buses nowadays. For me, classism is not the reason I don’t take the bus. I wish I could happily jump on, but I just can’t get my head around city bus timetables. 

I’m far too much of a worrier to get on a bus without knowing exactly where it’s going and where it’s going to stop. If I had started taking the bus at a younger age, then it probably would be how I would choose to travel now, but growing up I only really relied on my school bus, which is a whole different ball game to service buses. For travelling around the city, trains and the subway are so much more simple. For starters, it’s more often than not the same route day in, day out. It stops in the same places every time and you know all the stops before even setting foot on it. It might just be ignorance of the whole city bus situation on my part, but when I travel I don’t want to be panicking about the journey.

“I’m far too much of a worrier to get on a bus without knowing exactly where it’s going and where it’s going to stop.”

Additionally, buses are hardly known for their promptness. So often I hear people come out with: “I’m so sorry, my bus was late!”, which really puts me off the whole idea. Lateness is one of my biggest bugbears, and the thought of not being somewhere on time simply adds to the already present travel stress, even if it is completely out of my control. With green travel schemes and the introduction of more and more bus lanes around the city and on motorways, it appears that the delays are not as bad as they once were, but even still, being stuck in traffic when you have somewhere to be is never fun. Of course, trains and the subway also run late and can also get stuck, Scotrail is notorious for poor service, but it doesn’t seem to happen nearly as often. 

There’s no hiding the fact that buses are not the most straightforward method of transport, nor the most accessible, but with buses going to most places in Glasgow, and connecting cities across Scotland, maybe we should turn to this cheaper alternative. Maybe one day I’ll take the time to learn the bus timetables, but for now I’ll be sticking to what I know and travelling without too much stress.


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