Hanging up the keys: A beginner's guide to graduating to public transportation

February 20, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.

Using public transportation can be very easy or very difficult depending on where you live and how your city's transport system is operated. Here are three important tips on how to use public transportation when you're ready to hang up the car keys and kick back on the bus.

Memorize the Schedule

The bus schedule can be very tricky when you first start taking a look at the routes and times, but don't be lazy about studying it. You only really need to know when it's coming and going to the places you visit every week: The grocery store, a friend's home, a favorite hang out, etcetera. Memorize the times, days and routes that you use every day or every week and you can worry about the rest of it as necessary.

Be Cautious

Buses in mid-size cities tend to be relatively safe as few drivers are willing to let someone who looks dangerous onto the bus and offending travelers get blacklisted from the entire system over time, but that doesn't mean there aren't some crazies, thugs and thieves out there. Travel in the day when possible and be cautious at bus stops and stations of anyone who looks like they might pose a threat.

Don't get Stranded

Know when the last bus of the day runs and whether or not you're willing to walk home from where you're going. Some cities have a 24 hour schedule, but if yours doesn't, there's very little that's more embarrassing than calling all of your friends and family until you can find someone who can give you a ride home.

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