Nepal | May 25, 2020

Using public transport in Valley a huge ordeal

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Kathmandu, May 21

Commuting is a big part of the lives of Valley denizens, as it is in most cities. For many denizens, however, commuting to and from work can actually be more exhausting than their jobs.

Sunita Shrestha, 25, often has to wait for more than half-an-hour to get a bus to Bhaktapur from Lagankhel Bus Park. Sunita, a bank employee, said that finding a bus home is more stressful to her than the pressures of her job.

“I am supposed to work until 6:00pm everyday, but it is next to impossible to find a bus to Bhaktapur after 6:00pm. It is extremely stressful to stand for almost an hour to find a bus, and after that the bus I finally get on is almost always packed with passengers. Then, it is over an hour’s bumpy ride through terrible traffic squashed in a tiny box with other tired, sweaty people,” she said.

On a regular work day, hundreds of people stand for several minutes at Lagankhel Bus Park after work waiting for a public transport to take them home. “Although there is a bus that travels from Lagankhel to Bhaktapur, it is very rare for me to find one. I usually take two buses, one from here to New Baneshwor and another from there to Bhaktapur. Even then I often get home very late, because the traffic is terrible after office hours,” said another denizen Pabitra Sayami.

Sujata Ganesh, a resident of Bhaktapur, travels from her place to her college in Lalitpur every day. She said that she rarely gets seats even when she gets on a bus from Kamal Vinayak Bus Park to Lagankhel Bus Park, and vice versa. “I feel so tired after I reach home. I have to go to college early in the morning, but the thought of the commute exhausts me and makes me not want to get out of my home at all. Often, there isn’t even space to stand or breathe in the public transport,” she said.

Nir Ratna New, president of the Lalitpur Minibus Sangh, said, “There are 36 buses that are supposed to travel from Lagankhel to Bhaktapur every six minutes. However, traffic congestion, especially in Koteswor, ruin the schedule.”

Many bus drivers hesitate to drive on the route because of the terrible traffic, he added.

Gyanendra Maharjan, president of Bhaktapur Minibus Sangh, also reiterated that many drivers refuse to drive on the route because of the formidable traffic congestion. “It takes more than an hour to travel from Bhaktapur to Lalitpur and vice versa. Also, there are fewer passengers travelling on the route than on other routes,” he said.


A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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