Edited by: Adedeji Oluwafemi
It is Monday morning, and the hustle and bustle of school life start again. You woke up late, so that means another struggle at the school gate. You are already thinking about the lambasting the lecturer will give you for coming late. Just as you expected, students are pushing and shoving their way into buses or motorcycles as quickly as they can. So you join the crowd of people waiting for a bus or a motorcycle.
You decide to go for a bike since it’s faster. However, the struggle for bikes is just as high as the inflation rate in the country. You decide to try your best to get one. After finding one, you have to deal with the issue of getting change. In the end, you just have to pay above the stipulated fare to get into school. Now, you’ve missed your first class, and you had one hell of a morning.
This is a typical day in the life of the majority of OAU students who live off-campus. However, it does not stop there. The struggle for transportation is just as dreadful and stressful when leaving campus as well.
The Obafemi Awolowo University community consists of about 30,000 people, including students and staff. This is a relatively large number of people compared to the limited number of buses and motorcycles available for transportation. Furthermore, the new policy at the school reduced the number of students living on campus, forcing more students to find off-campus housing. Campus transportation is now inconvenient for both students and staff.
Transportation on campus is a serious issue that the school administration must address in the long run. Nevertheless, in the meantime, here are a few suggestions to help you cope:
Students should make an effort to be more orderly
While we all wait for the school administration to intervene, students should try to be more orderly in the meantime. This can be possible with the assistance of the Student Union.
Orderliness can be achieved by forming a line at the bus and motorcycle stations. This will reduce rowdiness at the campus gate, make day-to-day commuting to campus less of a hassle and life easier for everyone.
Set out of your hostel early
While this is easier said than done, it remains the best option. It is best to leave at least an hour or 45 minutes before the scheduled time to avoid being late for tests, exams, classes, presentations, or appointments. This way, you will have more than enough time to catch a bus or a motorcycle without feeling rushed.
Strive to find accommodation close to campus
Living near campus makes it easy to get to the campus gate. You will save money, and the time it will take you to get there. Students who live in Maintenance and Jolly, for example, rarely have trouble getting on campus because school motorcycles and buses are always within their grasp. Even when they’re late, they can make it to the school gate faster, hence, reducing the stress they have to go through.
Make an effort to leave campus as early as possible
Another option is to leave campus early to avoid the hassle of on-campus transportation. Buses and motorcycles stop running at 9 pm, so get off campus before then. From 9 pm till 11 pm, the only way to get to campus is by cab. At times, cabs can be so scarce on campus that the total number does not exceed ten. The number of passengers in a cab should be four, but drivers can pick up to six passengers at a time due to the low cab-to-passenger ratio.
Keep a smaller denomination on hand at all times
As an OAU student, you are already aware of the consequences of running out of change. On-campus, fifty and hundred Naira notes are life-saving denominations. Getting on campus will be difficult without it. Except, of course, you can afford to spend more money than you intend or purchase something you do not need.
Bus fare from the campus gate is fifty naira, while motorcycle fare is one hundred naira for those who can afford it.
Develop an ability to move quickly
When so many people rush for the same thing, you cannot afford to slack. To avoid being left behind, you must move as quickly as they do. It is stressful, but it will pay off.
Until there is a permanent solution, transportation issues will impact students’ and staff productivity. However, you don’t always haver to fall victim to the fangs of transportation hassles. Now that you have learned how to cope, it is time to put these tips into action and enjoy the rest of your student life at OAU. With these tips, you should never have to miss a class, test, presentation, or appointment on campus.