Akirah’s Transportation Field Note

If possible close your eyes where you are and imagining a place less congested than New York city but just as mobilized. Imagine a place where everyone is in constant motion and you have no idea of where they are going. Are they going towards something or are they running away from something? Or could they just simply be in a rush to work or school? Let’s not assume their destination but acknowledge their constant movement. Now open you eyes as I welcome you to Cape Town, South Africa.

How do people get around?

To get around many people take the mini bus. This mode of transportation resembles a mini van. It travels throughout Cape Town and the neighboring townships, suburbs and informal townships . It cost approximately seven rand to ride this mini bus depending on where you are traveling. The second mode of transportation is the public bus system, which cost an average of six rands. The last mode of transportation is the cab. This is the most expensive mode of transportation is usually taken when one is traveling further distances.

How did I feel when I tried this way of getting around?

I felt overwhelmed when traveling on the mini bus because there were a lot of people and not enough room for personal space. After about the third time I felt comfortable taking the mini bus. I only take the cab when I am out late at night with friends because the mini bus if not safe to take after hours. I have yet to take the public bus although it is the cheapest of the three modes of transportation. The bus usually takes a longer time to come so I take the mini bus which runs pretty often.

Is this way of getting around connected to the culture and environment? How?

The mini bus is the preferred mode of transportation taken by most of the people here. Not only is it affordable but it runs frequently for people who need to get to work or school on time.

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