Friday, February 16, 2007

Transport tips and Suggestions

Students love to be mobile. How do Salisbury House Residents become mobile?

I have a few suggestions:

1. The college bus service to town once a week. This is the most affordable transport to town. Students who own cars charge approximately R15 per person to drive 6 km's down to town. The college bus, which leaves every Friday afternoon at 14:00 and returns at 17:30 costs only R5 per trip. The only way that is cheaper is to walk.

2. Car ownership is expensive. Many students believe that the only costs involved with owning a car is the cost of putting in petrol. But this is not true. You generally need to pay for the vehicle (Average: R1000 - R1700 p/m). You need to insure the vehicle (average R350 p/m). You need to service the vehicle (Average R4000 per year). And then you need to pay for petrol (average R0.60 per kilometre). If mobility is important to you I have a better suggestion:

Buy a brand new 125cc Motorbike. I bought one for myself (story here). I paid R7500 for it. Services cost R200. My motorbike is insured at R100 per month. Petrol consumption is 42 km's per litre of petrol. The bike does not generally travel more than 80km's per hour, so it is relatively safe, especially if you drive carefully. You won't even have to pay too many speeding fines! You can take a passenger with you. If you are adventurous you can even travel through the whole Western Cape on the motorbike. I cannot think of a better mode of student transport.

3. One option that is almost always a possibility for a foreign student who plans to spend a year or so at Helderberg, is to buy a used vehicle in South Africa (you could get a reasonably good one for 3000 Euro) and drive it while you are here. When you leave you should be able to sell the car for almost the same price.

4. Finally, the healthiest way to go, the way that I am thinking of more and more these days, is to just go the pedestrian way. I don't think I've been to a single town or city where there are not several hiking trails or footpaths available. I don't think there is a better way to get to know a place than by getting to know it on foot. Buy a nice walking stick (R200) and good shoes (R400) and go for long walks. It keeps you fit, and you get to truly experience the beauty of a place.

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