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Taking Public Transportation to Save Gas? Use These 5 Travel Tips to Stay Safe

Perhaps you’re trying to save a little money this summer by visiting the gas pump less often. Other than bumming a ride off your best friend, public transportation is your next best bet. Although you’ll spend a small amount of cash for each ride, you still may be able to keep more money in your wallet.

It’s important that you understand some of the risks involved with using public transportation. Sharing rides with other strangers requires you to approach traveling differently. Adhere to the following travel tips to ensure that you arrive at your next destination safely.

Tip #1: Check for Badges or Permits

Before you walk on to any bus make sure the driver is displaying an official badge. Once you spot the badge, verify that the picture matches the actual driver. Taxi drivers in the U.S. must display their permits, so look for those as well or ask for the driver to point to it. Do not get into a vehicle unless they possess official documentation.

Tip #2: Stay Alert at All Times

Although it may be tempting to sleep during a long commute, stay awake and alert at all times. Criminals are always on the lookout for napping passengers. In fact, any action or activity that prevents you from keeping your possessions close should be avoided. Even listening to music can distract you from missing your stop and getting lost.

Tip #3: Keep Your Items Close By

Rather than keeping your bags at a central location on the bus, keep them in your lap or between your feet at all times. You may have a very generic-looking bag that could get confused with someone else’s. The last thing you need is to open your bag at work only to find a pair of hiking boots where your laptop should be. Keeping your items close by also makes it impossible for them to be stolen.

Tip #4: If a Bus is Crowded, Get Off

First of all, a crowded bus just isn’t a very enjoyable experience. Aside from this, they are a breeding ground for pickpockets. With so many people standing shoulder to shoulder, there’s no way to tell if a bump was accidental or an attempt at your wallet. It’s best to just climb off the bus and wait for the next one.

Tip #5: Don’t Share Rides With Strangers

Whether it’s a taxi or a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft, try your very best to ride alone. Of course, getting in a vehicle with a friend or family member is perfectly okay, but sharing a ride with a stranger is not a smart move. No matter how kind they act, a stranger could be part of a scam or worse, a thief.

Although some of these tips sound pretty self-explanatory or obvious, it’s never a bad thing to keep them at the forefront of your mind. As you use public transportation, always know where you’re going and remember how to call for help during an emergency.

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