Public transport in Sri Lanka- Travelling to projects with SLV.Global

In this video, past SLV.Global coordinators Lizzie, Zuber and Aaron give volunteers an insight into what it's like to take public transport in Sri Lanka to make your way to SLV.Global's s various projects.

Most volunteers tend to get to projects in Sri Lanka by bus. This is the cheapest and probably the easiest way to get around. The price of the commute from your homestay to your project will range from approximately 30-50p a day, making it far cheaper than a bus journey back home! The bus network in Sri Lanka is expansive and buses run very frequently. However, it is possible that buses can be delayed: other buses, cars and sometimes even cows can block the road so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and to allow a little more time for your journey! SLV does try to ensure that our projects are located no longer than an hour’s commute away

Please bear in mind that buses can be cramped, crowded and comfy all at once. If you manage to get a seat feel free to sit back and watch the world go by. However, it’s more likely that you will be standing for the duration of your journey which means learning to give up your idea of personal space and really embrace the Sri Lankan public transport system. You’ll also learn to throw out your idea of a bus being ‘full’, in Sri Lanka there’s always space for one more!

“You can be squished with about 30 or 40 people on the bus and think there’s no possible way that anybody else is getting on here. And then you’ll stop and pick up 15 more schoolchildren.” - Lizzie

"The seats are 30% smaller than a normal seat that you would need. So you'll be sitting a bit scrunched." - Zuber

It won’t take long to learn to love the bus system in Sri Lanka. An added bonus is that you really get the chance to interact with friendly members of the local community who are all very interested in what you’re doing in Sri Lanka. Make sure you don’t get too distracted soaking in the sights of your journey as the bus conductor only calls out the different bus stops verbally and you will have the chance to experience what it’s like to hop off a moving bus.

Lee MLee