Public transport is a great way to do a good deed when travelling; it helps the planet, the local economy, and often your wallet. The quality and availability of public transport can of course vary, but new measures will see it expand over the next few years according to the C40 group of international mayors – and that’s good news. If you’re planning on your next big trip and want to explore the world in a different way, sticking to public transport is a good way to do it.
Just as with driving, public transport has a distinct set of risks that need to be addressed before heading out. Firstly, protect your physical safety. There are obvious dangers around public transport vehicles, especially trains and buses, that are easy to foul of. This is especially true in countries where road laws aren’t as rigorously applied. In south Asia for instance, bus travel is common but can be quite chaotic. Protect yourself by keeping your wits about you when boarding, and consider retaining a bus accident lawyer for the worst case. Secondly, think about your personal protection. As University College London notes, most public transport is safe but there can be issues when alone or when it’s late. Just be wary, as you would when driving.
It’s also important to plan well ahead of time. This is simple in countries with highly developed public transport systems. In Europe, for example, you can rely on digital timetables for trains, and tools like Google Maps can provide an accurate template from which to base your travel. Elsewhere, there may be variations that aren’t reflected on line. Do a bit of research ahead of time – use forums and chat rooms to ask other travelers how their experience of the system was, and then you can be prepared for potential slip ups and ensure you give them proper time for delays.
Keeping it varied
The great cities of the world are now promoting new forms of public transport that you can use to help change how you experience the world. Rail gives high speed views of the surroundings as you pass; tram and light rail slower, but intimately involved with the inner city experience and something where you can really enjoy people or scene watching. Taxis often bring with them a conversation with local experts, which is to be cherished. Buses, like trams, often have something different, and often comfort. Trying a bit of everything is the key here. Go out of your way to experience the world in a different way to how you do at home – take a boat if you don’t live by the river, and take a train if you’re always stuck in the car.
Travel is about variety, and experiences, and you’d be amazed to see just how much fun you can have by switching up how you get from A to B. Stay safe, plan properly, and enjoy the world from the local’s perspective.