8 Tips for Traveling on Public Transportation at Night

public transportation

Occasionally, we all have to make late-night trips on public transit. But with violence increasing at night, it can feel daunting to even think about entering the subway. Although many cities report an increase in attacks, that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo public transportation altogether. Here are 10 ways that you can stay safe on your nighttime travels: 

1. Plan your route. 

Before riding, ensure that you know your destination. Keep a map of the public transit stops in front of you at all times so that you know when and where to exit. If you’re taking multiple forms of public transportation, make sure that you research all of them. This way you can navigate the area in case you need to make an emergency stop. You can also research other routes to your destination so you have a backup plan if an emergency or a delay happens. 

2. Pack efficiently.

Packing lightly does wonders when you travel at night. You’ll be able to track your belongings easily and have your hands less full. If packing lightly isn’t an option, though, section your items into various compartments based on how likely it is that you’ll need them.  

Avoid packing high-value items, like expensive jewelry, electronic gadgets, and large amounts of cash so that you don’t attract a criminal’s attention. If you have no choice, seal your valuable belongings in a container at the bottom of your travel bag. 

3. Prepare a first-aid kit.

You never know what will happen on your trips, so keep a first-aid kit on hand. For starters, include bandages, ice packs, disposable gloves, eye dressings, triangular bandages, tweezers, scissors, and medical tape. Although these items can’t fully heal every injury, they can provide some temporary relief. 

4. Carry self-defense tools. 

Many self-defense tools are actually everyday items. Keychains, for example, usually have sharp spikes on the outside, so they’re great for self-defense. When you choose self-defense tools, ensure that you use them correctly — and make sure that they’re legal where you live. The last thing you’d want is liability for protecting yourself. 

5. Scan the area. 

While you’re on public transit, look around and assess the scene. Be on the lookout for hazards. For example, is the bus too crowded in front of a door? That could be a safety hazard, especially when passengers enter and exit. You can also locate the safest emergency exits to plan an escape route if you need one. 

6. Avoid crowded areas.

Crowds aren’t your friend. Not only are they stuffy, but they also make responding to an emergency more challenging. It’s hard to observe what others are doing when you’re in a crowd. If you find yourself in a crowd, try to move to a spot with fewer people. 

7. Don’t listen to music.

Many people listen to music to pass time on their commutes. However, try not to listen to music on public transport, especially at night. If you listen to music, you won’t be able to hear the driver’s announcements about delays or emergencies. It’s important to stay aware of your surroundings!

8. Pull the emergency bar if you need to. 

Many public transits contain an emergency bar that you can use in case danger arises.  If an emergency happens, pull this bar or press the emergency button immediately. That way, others can assist you if you need help or spot something dangerous happening. 

Traveling on public transit can be dangerous, but with preparation, you’ll be ready to respond to any emergency situation. It’s important to ensure the safety of yourself and others around you when you commute. If you have a gut feeling that something’s wrong, don’t hesitate to use your emergency plan. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Featured Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash.


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