In a survey of about 100 Young Post readers, around 50 per cent of respondents said it takes them more than 30 minutes to get to school everyday, while around 13 per cent said it took them more than an hour to get to school. Many said bad public transport, traffic jams, or just the long distances they needed to travel, were the main causes for their long commutes.
Charlotte Fong, 15, takes public transport from her home in Tai Kok Tsui to her school, International Christian College, in Sha Tin. Although it takes her 35 minutes to get to school in the morning, her ride home takes around an hour.
“I’m on several sports teams, so I often stay behind for practice, and leave school at 6pm. I would like to get home as soon as possible to do my homework, but my long commute doesn’t allow that,” she said.
She added that she thinks her school needs to change its start time to later to accommodate students who live far away.
Why I don't think I should have to give up my seat on a bus or the MTR for the elderly
Candace Law, 16, studies at Chinese International School near Causeway Bay, but lives in Tuen Mun. There are no school buses to her area, so she rides with her parents to get to school in the morning, and takes public transport home in the evening.
“It’s frustrating and it gets tiring sometimes. I feel like when I get home I have to immediately start working, because I’ve already used up so much time to travel,” she said.
Tam said that in the short term, the physical health of students who spend long hours commuting may be affected. “It is exhausting to have to do a commute daily, and waking up early would cut into their sleep time,” said Vicky Tam, a professor at the Department of Eduction Studies at Baptist University. “At the end of the day they have to be bused home, that may limit their involvement in extra curricular activities.”