August 21, 2013 Mad Hatter


There is an on going discussion about KU Shuttle Services with students affected by the termination, myself included truly concerned.

First, I must laud the efforts that are ongoing to find a solution. These are some of those problems where there can only be one view of it, a solution has to be found.

In my first year, I faced the extreme inconvenience of using one college bus that had been assigned to us. The shuttle services were a welcome relief, and the VC having explained the matter to us, we chose to adopt and subscribe.

The rationale was that we will subscribe en-mass, and in my view, it was not a pretty weak assumption. That the subscription failed to meet the threshold, is proof that perhaps the idea was not looked into.

The previously agreed amounts were varied and then the termination as was communicated.

In the communique, students were advised to look for alternative modalities of transport. While this would be the default advice, its my hope that it does not reflect the actual position of the administration on the matter. The administration, in the discharge of its obligations to avail to students a place from where to learn, must see the urgency, even without our leaders pushing to find an alternative.

That said, I believe we have viable alternatives that can be pursued to create a sustainable and reliable solution.

1. PROVIDE KU BUSES TO CARRY STUDENTS: Students can pay the ksh. 3,000 they used to pay to fuel & maintain college buses. while this may not suffice the entire hog, it will substantially reduce the amount chipped in by the administration.

I do not believe that there is a government policy against using university buses. My belief is on the basis that I seem an unable to get the basis of such a policy. And we actually have other Colleges ferrying their students.

2. In the Interim, before a solution is found, the Administration should commit to facilitate transport of students. The apprehension that has been created is not good at all. There are students who have been allocated rooms at main campus and need to be allowed the peace of mind as the semester starts.

3. In the Long run, I believe it will be necessary for the management to consider designating some of its buses to ferry students who commute or procure more vehicles for the same. While outsourcing is a viable option in the short run, its prone to many other speculative factors that make it unreliable.

One thing that should guide all those involved in this matter, is that the student’s safety and convenience have to guide our decisions. While its prudent to cut costs and what have you, basics should not be compromised on such a justification.

We also have to guard against suggestions that may add extra costs to students creating strains. The proposal to balloon the cost to Ksh. 5000 for a single bus is clearly impractical on many bases.

Several students barely remain with any allocations of money after paying there school fees & accommodation fees.

My urge to all those who are in a position of making this decision, is that they must do everything possible to find a viable, affordable & reliable solution.

And where someone has an idea of alternatives, support your leaders by suggesting and not criticizing them as inept.

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