OK, here are five EXCELLENT reasons to catch the bus—not only to my yoga class, but in general:
1) The bus is CHEAP!
No doubt about it, for those of us on a budget, the bus is definitely the cheapest mode of transport. For example, if I wanted to enjoy a nice walk on Galle Face it would cost me Rs 400 to get there in a taxi, Rs 180 to get there in a metered trishaw (don’t get me started on the non-metered ones—you could pay more than a taxi!) but only Rs 15 to get there on the 112 bus!! It might be free to cycle but I could not be certain what I might pay in future costs for the lung problems I might develop from inhaling those fumes on Galle Road or the hospital bill after getting run over (hopefully not by a bus!)
2) The bus is greener.
I am not sure I can call some of the belching buses green exactly but, aside from your bicycle or feet, the bus is certainly greener than a car. The bus can fit more than 50 people on at a time (admittedly, it is more pleasant when there are less people but, hey, it’s the environment and we need it to live) whereas your car, for the most part, is probably only carrying you.
3) The bus goes where no other vehicle can or dares.
In the recent Colombo floods I reckon I was about the only one who got to work nearly on time, thanks to the bus. While all of the cars were stopped by the metre-deep pool of water that submerged Thumulla junction, my bus powered on through. Sure, the water came up to the bottom step and our wake created some pretty big waves, but we bus commuters stayed dry inside and got to work.
4) The bus is full of normal people.
Contrary to popular opinion which labels bus commuters as full of perverts, I have not experienced any more ogling or harassment on the bus than I have encountered walking down the street minding my own business. No-one on the bus pulls up beside me, winds down their window and asks me if I am Russian (their code for prostitute). The bus driver, unlike many three wheeler drivers, has never dropped me at my stop and asked me if he could come inside. The bus is basically filled with people just trying to get to and from work and their appointments. They just cannot afford a car, taxi, or trishaw.
5) I live 100m from the best bus route in Colombo.
It certainly makes it easier to catch the bus when you live near a good bus route. The 138 and 120 rocket by every few seconds it seems. They are joined by the 122, 125, 112, and 135. You can get just about anywhere by bus.
6) You see cool things.
Ok, I know I said five reasons but I realized there is an important sixth reason. The bus let’s you peek over those fences you never get to see from ground level. I have seen some pretty interesting things riding the bus. I am not going to tell you, of course, but let you catch the bus and discover for yourself.
Hooray for the bus! Why not give it a go?