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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

How to Plan Your Trip Using Public Transportation

This is a guest post from Ella, who blogs at TrekBible. See more at the bottom.

Public transit is very useful when you are planning a trip—whether you are traveling far away or close by. There are a number of things that you must do when planning a trip that involves using public transit. 

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Take A Deep Breathe And Think 

Planning your trip around using public transit can seem overwhelming at first. You may not be familiar with the public transit systems that you are about to use. If you are familiar with a given public transit system, there might be things about it that you don't know about. In public transit systems, there are all kinds of routes, schedules, timings, names and numbers. Sometimes, not knowing a particular area that you plan on traveling in can make planning more tedious and stressful, even if it is in the general area where you live. You just need to set some time aside, relax and just think things through as you plan your trip. 

Become Acquainted With the Area That You Are Traveling To Or In 

Looking at a map of where you plan on traveling is the first step that you should take. Being acquainted with the area will help you to plot out where you need to pick up certain types of transit, where you need to wait and where you will be let off. Try to remember street names. We are lucky to live in an age of internet street views. I would advise to look at street views online. 

Learn About the Public Transit System 

The second thing that you should do is learn about the transit system that you are going to use. Learn about what types of transportation are included in the system. Study maps of the public transit system to get an idea of which trains or buses to take. Study schedules very closely and keep in mind that some types of public transmit may run for the whole day while others may only part of the day. For example, some buses might operate on a fairly regular schedule twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, while others may only operate on certain days during certain times. 

The internet provides some really good information when it comes to looking up public transit systems. Search engines such as Google are great places to start when it comes to finding information about public transportation systems. Usually, transportation systems have their own websites where they show maps, schedules, fares and information. Outside of the internet, there are books and pamphlets that you can get to learn about various transportation systems. 

Learn about prices, and plan on how much you are going to spend on public transit. Some types of public transit cost more than others. However, sometimes the more expensive types get will you to your destination quicker. If saving time is important to you, then this is something important to think about. 

Consider Waiting Times 

It's easy to overlook waiting times until you find yourself on public transit, taking two hours to go from point to A to point B, one way; or waiting two hours for a train that will bring you to your destination in about an hour. There aren't enough hours in the day, and the time that it takes to wait for and take public transit can eat up a lot of your time. One of the wisest things to do is to think long and hard about wait times, schedules and transfers. You may have to wait a half-hour for a bus, ride a bus for forty minutes, wait for forty more minutes to transfer onto another bus and then get to your destination in an hour. Keep this in mind when you are scheduling what you want to do in your day. The time that it takes to travel on public transit can seriously throw a monkey wrench in your plans if you do not carefully plan your time. 

Listen To What People Have To Say About The System 

Try to see what people have to say about the public transit systems that you are going to use. Go online to find stories about people's experiences and opinions. If anybody around you has anything to say, keep it in mind. 

Work Out Every Option And Alternative 

Sometimes plans might go astray and you might need to take another form of transit. What will you do if the public transit that you plan on taking doesn't work for some reason, forcing you to use an alternative form of transit? Again,get really familiar with public transit system maps so you can plot out alternative routes. Gather phone numbers for cab companies so that you can call a cab if the situation calls for it. You never know what might happen. You may need to to take an alternative public transit route due to a major delay. Another commuter may be harassing you, and you may want to take another route to avoid that person. 

Keep Maps Around 

It really helps to keep a map of the streets where you are traveling because, as mentioned above, knowing where you are helps when using public transit. Some atlases actually have maps where they denote public transit stations and hubs. On Google maps, there are little symbols that indicate where train, subway and bus lines are in numerous places. You should also have maps of the transit system on your person.

Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.

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