Public transport is more affordable than owning a vehicle and in some situations, it can even be faster and more efficient as well, not to mention the environmental benefits. However, it does come with its risks. For example, falling asleep on public transit leaves you vulnerable to theft or even sexual assault, so it is essential to be alert and mindful. Here are 12 safety tips for public transportation passengers:
- When using public transportation, it is important to plan the journey ahead, research bus stops and landmarks, traffic jam density and leave room for delays. This is particularly necessary when traveling unknown terrains.
- Keep pass, tickets, and loose change in your hand or pocket, while valuables and purse are kept close or out of sight to the public.
- Distribute funds in various parts of your bag and pocket. This will ensure you are left with some funds in case you fall a victim to “one chance” buses.
- Where unsure of your destination, do not look lost or confused; look at maps discretely, and be careful of asking questions from co-passengers. Upon alighting, walk with other passengers and avoid looking surprised at the surroundings or location. Potential culprits may take this as a sign of vulnerability.
- If you feel unsafe in a bus, sit close to the driver or ask to alight at the closest bus stop, while ensuring your uneasiness isn’t obvious to the public. This can be done by feigning a phone call, remembrance of something requiring you to immediately alight, etc.
- Ensure you spare a few seconds to peruse the passengers on a public bus, to have an idea of the type of people they are, and the probability of it being a “one chance” bus. Take note of suspicious movement, sitting arrangement or body language and do not enter if you feel uncomfortable with your findings.
- Do not get too consumed by activities while on public transport, e.g. reading, browsing. BE ALERT at all times. Take note of suspicious activities and report strange or unattended luggage.
- Enter only licenced taxis or cabs, acceptable carriers, and observe for logos, peculiar signs, etc. Also, avoid sharing with strangers.
- Don’t get too personal with strangers on the bus. This is not because of your new friend, but others who are seemingly not paying attention to the ongoing conversation and taking notes.
- Don’t share personal information while on the bus.
- MIND YOUR BUSINESS. Do not interfere in conversations your attention is called to or seem uncomfortable joining.
- In the unfortunate event you become a victim of sexual harassment or witness someone being a victim, raise alarm immediately and call the emergency numbers 112 or 767 to make a report. Describe the situation as clearly as possible, location, victim, and perpetrator.
While this list is non- exhaustive, it serves as a good head start to your security consciousness journey while using public transport.