A rule that bans college and school-going students from riding scooters and motorbikes has forced students to use public transportation. Is this effective? Or are there too many loopholes? In light of this heated controversy, we caught up with students from Graded English Medium School (GEMS) to know what they had to say about it.

Yinuka rai -A2
1. What kind of transportation do you use mostly?
Yinuka: Public.
Prathna: Public.
Monica: I use both. I have been using public transport since class 7, but we recently got a car, so whenever I have to go somewhere I call up my mom and she takes me there.

Mahima : Both. I started using public transport after grade 10. I used to go by private cars before but after grade 10, when I had to go out with friends and family, I had no other option than to use public transport.

Devesh: Both, but mostly public.

Sharif: Both. But I recently had an accident, so yeah, public transport for me.

Monica Khadka -AS
2. Which mode of transportation do you personally prefer and why?
Yinuka: Public. Although it is not comfortable, it makes you street-smart and makes you learn about people and places. However, I really don’t like the attitude of people on public buses, so I am thinking of getting my own scooter.

Monica: If it weren’t for the misbehavior of the people on public transport, I’d prefer it.
Devesh: Private transport is a big no for me, for safety among other reasons. So, public transport it is!

Sharif: If we are talking about comfort, obviously private is much more comfortable but when we talk about convenience, about being aware and smart, it’s always public.

Prathna Pradhan -A2
3. Are you all familiar with the new rule? Has GEMS implemented it yet?
Yinuka: Yes. GEMS probably implemented it before the government did! (laughs)
Mahima : Yes. I think it probably started when some of our seniors got in a fight or something.

4. Why do you think the rule has been enforced? What do you have to say about it?
Prathna: I think it’s alright. I mean, everyone has their own opinion. Most of the times, the drivers are responsible but sometimes accidents are inevitable and unavoidable. Monica: I think that even though we have our driving license, its more about style. We should have our freedom, but we should be responsible.

Devesh: I think there are both advantages and disadvantages. It’s a good step on the part to control racing and fights but all colleges do not provide bus facilities.

Sharif: The way teenagers ride their bikes these days is really fast and reckless. However, the government should be more understanding especially in the case of schools like GEMS, which is practically located in the middle of nowhere!

Sharif shrestha -AS
5. The new rule pretty much requires students to go for public transport. What do you think are the major problems associated with this?
Yinuka: Overcrowding I can understand - it’s public and there are few buses so that is understandable. People should respect the transport system because it’s worse with eve teasing and all. The thing is, I do not feel safe.

Monica: I think it’s the crowd, and the sexual abuse. You know, leaning into people even when not needed, I think that is a big problem.

Mahima : I think people should be more respectful. Cleanliness is required, so scribbling, spitting and making it dirty has to be stopped. Devesh: Sexual abuse on buses and the tampered meters in taxis. I actually heard that the meter is somehow connected to the gears in such a way that every time you honk the horn, the price goes up!

Devesh Belbase - Grade 11
6. What can be done for better transport facilities for students?
Yinuka: Firstly, the authorities that set the rules are setting wrong examples themselves. It is up to the individual to ride safe and not get caught up in an adrenaline rush.

Prathna: I think the family of the student themselves should take initiative and guide them first.

Monica: I think there should be better and stricter traffic rules. And definitely no bribes!

Mahima: I think teenagers are mostly aware of the consequences but it’s their attitude - their raging teenage blood that drives them.

Devesh: I think the most important thing is self-control. Awareness alone is not going to help, because the students already know that they should drive responsibly.

Sharif: I think peer pressure and the natural thirst for an adrenaline rush is a part of teenage life.
Mahima Shrestha - Grade 12
7. These days, bikes and scooters have become more of a style statement than a necessity. Do you agree?

Yinuka: It really infuriates me when I see 14-year olds asking for a bike. It has become a style statement. I see people showing off bikes, trying to impress girls. I am like, really?

Monica: I think it is both. It is a necessity as well as a style statement. I don’t think any parent would just buy their child a bike or a scooter unless it is necessary. .

Devesh: Style statement definitely, else the love for brands and hip bikes would not be there. I actually think the brand names help.  

Sharif: For me, I think it’s a necessity turned into a style statement. Before, people bought bikes out of necessity but with the trend of modifying bikes and making them more stylish, it’s become a style statement too.