Public transportation is a popular alternative to personal vehicles as they are cheap, convenient, and environmental-friendly. People often use public transport for various reasons, such as saving fuel, old age, beating traffic, or health complications. However, taxis and buses can be risky, especially on routes that go through dangerous neighborhoods. Knowing what to do and taking proper measures to increase your safety can significantly reduce travel-related risks such as theft, assault, or death. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe when using public transport.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
If you’re traveling a long distance, it’s always crucial to plan your route to know what to expect. Check maps to help you learn everything about your journey. You can even use your phone to track your journey. Know the main stopovers and the crime rate in those areas. Take extra neck pillows to support your neck and carry enough emergency supplies if something happens to the vehicle and you get stranded.
Book Your Means of Transport in Advance
If you are using a cab, you may want to make arrangements ahead of time rather than choose a random taxi. If you can drive, consider renting or carsharing services such as Avail that provide similar privacy as private vehicles. These services allow you to travel alone or with your family instead of a driver and other passengers. If renting or carsharing are not your options, you can still book online taxis like Uber. Just make sure that you only get in the car that you ordered.
Long-distance traveling is often tiring, but try your best not to sleep if you’re traveling alone. You never know who could be watching you or targeting your property while you’re asleep. Mind your surroundings and keep an eye on your luggage. Avoid crowded areas at the bus stop or train station as pickpocketers can use this opportunity to rob you. Never leave your luggage unattended, and always keep larger bags where you can see them. You can keep other valuables like cameras, jewelry, and phones in smaller bags that you can hold with your legs.
Invest in Emergency Safety Devices
If you tend to use public transport often, the best way to deal with travel unpleasantness is by carrying emergency alert devices to help catch thieves during transit. Most devices emit powerful noise that alerts everyone around you if something has been taken from you. The noise can be quite disturbing. That’s why you should only use them in areas that you feel unsafe.
Train stations and public bus stops are not the best places to show off your new expensive jewelry. How you dress and carry yourself can make you an easy target for muggers and pickpocketers. Try to blend in by tucking your necklace inside your clothing and dress in simple, inexpensive clothes. If you’re in a foreign area, choose seats that will conceal most of your body and luggage to avoid attracting attention.
Know Where the Exits are and When to Move
When you enter any form of public transport; train, bus, or tube, check the nearest exits, fire exits, and alarms in case you need to use them for whatever reason. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy when riding a bus, move to another seat. If you no longer want to be on the bus, get off at the next stop, even if it’s not your destination. You can always board another bus or contact a taxi service to take you the rest of the way. Always have a phone with you to reach people in case of an emergency.