The inflation is beginning to be felt also among studentswhich after observing a constantRising prices for rentals, registration fees and catering, are looking for alternatives to meet an increasingly unaffordable expense. In this respect, the geographical location of A Estrada means that instead of looking for a room or apartment in university towns, many young people in the locality now choose to use the public transportbenefiting from the recent reductions applied by the Xunta with central government funding.
However, this is possible for those carrying out their studies in cities such as Santiago or Pontevedra, which have direct bus connections with the municipality. While those who are enrolled in vocational training institutes or degrees in cities such as A Coruña, Lugo, Vigo or Ourense, are forced to resort to rent. According to some Estradenses in this situation, the current price fluctuates between 170 and 250 euros.
Likewise, it is becoming increasingly common for this sector of the population to combine your studies with part-time jobsor on weekends, to try ease the economic burden on their families when the scholarships of the Administrations are insufficient or are not granted.
Alba Bugallo, 21 years old, is one of those who chose to stay at home and travel every day by bus to Santiago, where she is studying a higher cycle of tourism, she says that “before starting the cycle, I was at university and during those years I was renting, but every It is more difficult to find something cheap there, so for money reasons I decided to use the bus”. He recognizes that with the discounts, it is a very profitable option economically, but “the problem is time. There are no good hours and those that exist are not respected, so in the end I have many dead hours left in the day. A situation that becomes more uncomfortable when winter arrives, when the cold and the rain add to the wait.
In a very similar situation is Aroa Duran, 20 years old. She studies the cycle of Childhood Education in Compostela, and she travels by bus every day, except when she leaves class at 10:00 p.m., days when her mother has to pick her up in Puentevea because “the 10:30 p.m. bus does not can’t get to A Estrada, the last one is at 9:20 p.m. and I don’t have time”.
Like Alba, she lived in an apartment, but now “the rents are too expensive”. However, both students agree that it would be good to improve public transport and the city’s connections with university towns, so that it would be really profitable to use this route.
On the other side of the scale are Sofia Barros (21) and Paula Pereiras (21). Both study and live in Santiago, where they share an apartment. In total there are three companions and they pay 530 euros, to which must be added the electricity and gas bill, as well as other expenses, such as food.
Pereiras is studying fashion design at Mestre Mateo, this is his fourth year, and he has always rented, but he admits that “it has become very difficult to find an apartment at a good price and in good condition. We got lucky with this one, but I know some friends who couldn’t stay here because there weren’t any decent options left.” Still, he argues that “it makes up for it for a matter of time”.
Her classmate Sofía, who is in the 3rd year of preschool education, echoes her classmate’s words and adds that “this year we did not take any risks, we saw an apartment that was good and we took it”, because the search for a dish in the Galician capital was It turned into a pitched battle.
In different circumstances, there are Vincent Couceiro (21), who studies music production in A Coruña and combines it with a part-time job at Primark. L’estradense says that “the truth is that combining the two things is killer, because no matter how many hours they last, you run out of time for yourself. I work 20 hours, and sometimes I ask for more if I need more money to pay my expenses for the month”. In his case, he could not access a scholarship, so he decided to enter the world of work so as not to be financially dependent on his family.
Ultimately, Brand Bridge (21), who combines his studies of graphic design in La Coruña with work in this field, which he started during the summer. He agrees with Vicente that “if you want to dedicate yourself 100% to both things, you have to give up your free time”. A question which, he admits, “was more difficult than expected”. In his case, the main motivation for looking for a job was to gain work experience.
Complaints to Monbus for non-compliance with the timetable
The reduction in the price of bus tickets is a measure that has undoubtedly influenced the decision of students to opt for public transport instead of renting, since the cost of this option is significantly lower, see the cost of travel from A Estrada to Santiago, 1.45 euros. It is, in fact, the busiest line for students and general residents of the city. A service operated by the company Monbus, and which, according to several users, leaves much to be desired. Alba and Aroa explain that this isn’t the first time a bus has been 45 minutes late for its departure time, or hasn’t shown up at all. This mainly happens on the return trip, the Santiago-A Estrada route. Apparently, according to Bugallo, “we have already made several complaints but nothing has changed. I think they don’t pay attention because it’s a small, unimportant line.” Also, it’s hard to estimate the exact duration of the journeys, so they often take the buses two hours before their lessons to get make sure to arrive on time.For their part, on the part of the company, they affirm that Monbus always respects the service, but that given the increase in the number of passengers coming from the discounts, it is possible that “at certain times the capacity is completed and therefore some passengers must remain on the ground. They say they are studying a restructuring of the service, to meet the needs of all passengers.