24 Tips on How to use Public Transportation Effectively by Allen Lewis
Knowing how to use public transportation is very empowering, never be completely at the mercy of people who have cars, your car breaking down, expensive taxis, or bad weather again. By using public transportation, you will be saving hundreds of dollars a month on rising car repair costs and gas prices.
1) Learn the Bus and Train Lines. Call the Transportation Department for your city and ask if they have any maps showing the city or entire region of the area you are requesting route information for. You may be able to get it free or pay a fee - it is well worth it.
2) Visit your State's Transportation Department's website. These sites have very valuable information to the public transportation user.
3) Check for any incentive programs available to get people to use public transportation, or tax breaks to company's that your employer may not know about. Some states will give you up to a $65 a month discount on such programs.
4) Check to see if you are eligible for a disability or senior citizen discount.
5) If you plan on using public transportation frequently buy a weekly or monthly pass - this will save you lots of money in the long run.
6) Keep good records of your ridership - you may qualify for tax breaks.
7) Get schedules by calling, online, from libraries or community centers. You may be able to print the schedule online on your printer.
8) Have good alternatives planned in case something happens to your regular bus route. Learn how to use subways in case of heavy traffic, sporting events, parades or marathons.
9) Keep your dollar bills as flat as possible, don't ball them up, and make sure your money doesn't have any rips or tears in them. Farebox machines often will not accept torn bills.
10) Be aware of what's going on in your city. Sporting events, popular plays, circuses, road construction, marathons, etc. can have a great impact on your commute time, especially if you work weekends.
11) If you plan to use strollers, use the light weight portable type. Start taking them down the moment you see the bus in the distance.
12) Keep your hands as free as possible - you can get seriously hurt if you do not secure yourself by holding on, or may get in arguments by falling into people.
13) Keep your valuables at a minimum, do not sit them in a free seat next to you and not pay attention, you know what will happen.
14) Use good common sense - which will cover much of what is not written here.
15) Pay attention to the bus number and block number which may be in the lower part in the corner of the front window. Just in case you lose something or something happens.
16) Like anywhere else there are con people that use the bus. It's good to be pleasant but don't provide too much of your intimate details about where you may be going to complete strangers. For example, telling someone you are on the way to the bank or shopping, this equates in people's mind that you have money.
17) Be alert to what's going on around you.
18) Keep this in mind. Just because someone is a bus driver doesn't mean they know every street in the city, granted - drivers can help you with a lot of destinations throughout the regions, but sometimes they just don't know or have just started. Sometimes the other passengers know more about how to get to your destination. If you have no idea of where you are going, call the bus company, they may have people that could help you over the telephone.
19) If you lose something on the bus check with the lost and found department, or call the company directly if you have the bus and block numbers.
20) Keep a close eye on your children both at the stop and while getting on the bus. Make sure they are secure when they are on the bus before the driver pulls off.
21) Bring something interesting to read with you.
22) If you are new to riding the bus, try not to go to sleep or you may miss your stop.
23) If possible, try to take at least 1 - 2 buses ahead of the one that will get you to your destination by the time you need, in case a bus breaks down or traffic. A good rule of thumb to use is - The more important an event is to you, the earlier you want to be there.
24) You are saving a lot of money by using public transportation, take some extra money with you in case you need to take a cab for emergencies. "Be Prepared" as the Boy Scout's Motto says.