I haven’t seen many takers for this debate and surprisingly so since these are the most popular means of transport in Delhi, our much loved metropolitan. At least not the ones who usually take the metro and are altogether convinced of its comfort and convenience. So much so that they refuse point blank to have anything to do with the bus. I was one of them too, till a few days back I decided to experiment and take the bus back from college. Here’s what I found:
The metro is comfortable alright, especially for the solivigant ladies out there. No awkward avoiding of eye contacts in the women’s compartment after all. But the seats are a pain in the butt! Hard, plasticky with people trying to fit in the tiniest of cracks and invading your privacy. It can be quite exasperating at times. The bus, I’m happy to say, did not have any such issues. At least not the few times I rode on it. It has reserved seats for women as well and only one person per seat please!
The metro is steady, stable and unvarying in this attribute. It takes the same amount of time, every time, more or less. Constancy is a much desired trait, no doubt, in humans as well as your means of transport. The bus is at the mercy of the city’s infamous traffic jams. Bus travel can stretch excruciatingly long at times but that is if you are truly unfortunate. For reliability, take the metro.
The bus wins this one hands down! Where it costs me about 200 rupees for 5 days of travel in the metro, and that too if I stick strictly to my route from home to college and college to home, the bus offers unlimited travel for Rs. 165 a month to wherever I may want to venture (student perks, y’all! ).
So much more money for food!
Travelling alone in the metro can be quite tiresome when you are forced to eavesdrop on conversations you otherwise will have no interest in. Although for some it’s the opposite, some who find spicy snippets of gossip amusing. I have become quite weary of them and find the overexcited, cheesy girlfriend giving mushy, sickly nicknames to her boyfriend downright annoying. So much so that at times I do feel like snatching away the phone of the girlfriend in question. Sorry, but I’m a miserable single with a loser attitude and pay no heed to my words if you do have such talks. Continue to spread the love.
The bus on the other hand has not yet put me through such an ordeal. Till now I have found the people in the bus to keep their love affairs to themselves. Although there is no guarantee of this remaining unvaried in the future since the people everywhere are still the same puerile Delhiites. (Of which I’m one and proud to be so!)
This is completely susceptible to the time of your travel. Both the metro and the bus fare more or less the same in this category. Both are filled to the brim in office hours with no breathing space. People are known to die (almost) in both. Both subject people to the same kind of harrowing treatment on trying to board or deboard the metro/bus. People are inconsiderate of others in both and no matter how crowded, they often tend to let other people have a whiff of the gases brewing inside them.
Bus stops are everywhere. Metro stations are on their way but even then, in a city like Delhi, they cannot achieve the ubiquity of the bus stops. Constructing metro stations is a lot more work and requires a lot more space. Buses are far more convenient on this front.
Metro gives an aerial view and can be quite awe-inspiring the first few times. I was left gaping at the neat roads and tiny cars crawling along, their rash movements imperceptible at the height I was at. But one gets used to all things in life, especially the good ones. No one stares out the window in the metro any longer, they are all busy staring at their teeny weeny phone screens (not so teeny weeny any more), texting or playing games or have earphones plugged on. Soon I started feeling nostalgic for the road. The metro gives an isolated feeling at times, as if you are disconnected from the outside world. On the road you get a closer view of the workings of the city, you feel closer to its heart brimming with blood and activity!
Which one do you prefer? Mention in the comments!