Public transportation is an easy, affordable, and quick way to get around a city or country. It is also environmentally friendly and can help you save on fuel. As convenient as it may be, public transportation presents risks such as theft, assault, and more.
For this reason, there is an increasing need to protect yourself when using public transport. Below are proper measures that you can take to enhance your safety on public transport.
1. Plan Your Route in Advance
Planning your route ahead of time can be necessary, especially if you want to travel a long distance. You should also plan your route if you are new to public transport. Maps and phone apps e.g. Google Maps, can come in handy to give you more information about your journey so you know what to expect.
It can be difficult for a driver with malicious agendas to take advantage of you with this information. Ideally, you will be better positioned to protect yourself, and you won’t fall for their trap.
2. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time
Like planning your route, it helps to book your trip in advance. This helps avoid random means of public transport, which can be risky, especially if you are alone. Ensure that you know the type of public transportation you need to reach your destination.
Also, it is a good idea to go through the transport timetables, so you don’t spend a lot of your time in long lines. This will give you an idea of the pick-up locations, departure times, and how much money you will need to pay. Hence, you will appear more organized, making it hard to be taken advantage of.
3. Keep Your Bags and Belongings Close By
It is easy for thieves to target your luggage if you have many bags to take care of or if you leave them unattended. To avoid this, try to keep your valuables and package close to you as much as possible. Also, keep watch of them all the time.
Also, make sure that you keep your belongings secure, particularly for valuables like cameras, phones, jewelry, and a wallet in a smaller handbag. Otherwise, they will be an easy target for thieves. You can place your bags on the seat next to yours or hold them between your legs.
Keep hold of your belongings until you get to your destination if you are standing. It is also advisable to have one hand free if you need to defend yourself.
4. Avoid Isolated Routes
When planning your routes, ensure that you take a well-used route and avoid abandoned ones. This will deny a thief an easy opportunity to take advantage of you. Walk with other commuters and be aware of who is around you. Find a populated area if you notice that you are followed after exiting a station.
5. Avoid Overcrowded or Empty Carriage
If you travel by train or tube, ensure that you are not alone as this can make it easier for thieves and malicious people to take advantage of you. Also, try as much as possible to avoid overcrowded means of transport.
Otherwise, it will be difficult to watch over your belongings and protect yourself. You can always wait for the next bus or train and rest easy to be safe.
6. Sit Near the Driver
If possible, always travel near the driver or guard as this will help you be safe and secure. Doing this helps prevent another passenger from bothering or harassing you. It is also safer to sit near the driver after dark, or the bus is empty.
7. Wait on Well-Lit Stops
Avoid waiting on your own in a dark, secluded area. Instead, choose to stand in well-lit areas, close to other people. It is advisable to be alert and confident while waiting and while on the bus or train.
8. Always Remain Awake and Alert
It is easy to fall asleep or be distracted by other things like your phone or a book when on public transportation. Unfortunately, this can leave you vulnerable to theft, mainly when traveling by yourself.
Try to be alert throughout your journey no matter how exhausted you feel and regardless of the type of transportation. Being alert also prevents you from ending up in a strange place.
9. Be Assertive
When onboard, know your boundaries and be assertive when a fellow passenger crosses them. For instance, if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, let them know that it is unacceptable in a polite manner. However, if they continue to harass you, be assertive and move away.
10. Carry Your Mobile Phone
Always carry a mobile phone with you while in transit so you can call for help where necessary. To make sure your phone is fully charged you may like to purchase an iWALK Small Power Bank.
If you don’t have your mobile phone with you, ensure that you have carried enough money to make a call.
11. Park Your Vehicle in Proximity to Transport Points
If you come with your car to the station, ensure that you park close to transport points and in well-lit areas. Double-check that you have locked all doors and windows. Moreover, you should ensure all items inside the car are out of sight.
12. Report a Crime or Anti-Social Behavior on Public Transport
Commuters have a responsibility for public transportation safety, and they can always report anti-social behavior. If you notice any behaviors or offenses that make you feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to alert the driver, the staff on board or at the station, or a police officer.
This is also true if you notice something suspicious, like an abandoned bag. It helps to know the local emergency number of the country you are traveling to if you need to report something. In the US, the emergency call number is 911.
We hope that these tips on how to ensure personal safety on public transport have been helpful. Wherever you are traveling to, prepare for your journey and take every precaution to remain safe.