*Guest writer Costea Lestoc*

While the most common mode of transportation is a personal vehicle, there are many reasons you may opt to use the MTA instead. Many travels don't have their own cars for a variety of reasons be they personal choice or circumstance. Regardless of the situation, the bus can be an incredibly effective means of getting around, Especially when you are visiting places for the first time. If you are planning on taking the bus – even for a short distance – there are a few tips that can help you make the most out of the trip.

Preparation is key so before you even get started, you should use the mta trip planner tool to know what bus you need to take if you have to make any transfers and more. This tool is easy to use and allows you to plan out the course of your trip based on your needs and requirements.

Once your overall plan is set, take a look at a few of these additional tips that will make your experience on the bus a much better one all around.

1. Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

As mentioned above, you really need to plan your bus route ahead of time. Use the tool mentioned above to know the route number you need, and make sure you know when and where you need to get off of the bus. It is a good idea to get to know what is nearby your destination, so you will be able to tell when your stop is getting close, especially if you are traveling to an area that you aren’t completely familiar with. Most bus service providers will offer a schedule and other vital information online, so be sure to use this when planning any type of bus trip.

2. Make Sure Your Payment is Ready

When it comes to public transportation, you have to pay to ride. Since buses are typically on a tight schedule and have to adhere to it to make sure people get where they are going on time, it is a good idea to make sure your payment is ready when you climb onto the bus. There are also some metro cards you can get in some areas where you can preload your money and then just swipe the card as you get on the bus. However, this is usually only recommended to those who use the bus daily or extremely frequently.

3. Use the Accessibility Features Available

Today’s busses are designed to transport everyone – regardless of disability or mobility issues – safely and comfortably from one place to another. As a result, if you need access to a certain accessibility feature, make sure to let the driver know. You can use the disability seating, safety belts, ramps and more to ensure that your bus ride is both safe and comfortable.

4. Communicate with the Driver

The driver is there to make your ride a success. They are there to help you get to your destination and accommodate any needs you may have along the way. As a result, you may want to speak to the driver of the bus if you need special help, or if you are unsure of where to get off.  

5. Remain Safe

While busses are a great way to travel and much safer than the majority of cars, it is still possible to suffer an injury or have an unfortunate mishap. Make sure that when ride you remain aware of your surroundings. Take note to all exits and the posted protocol for emergencies.                                                                                                                                                            

Taking the bus is a great way to get where you need to go for an affordable price. Make sure to keep the information here in mind to make the most of your bus ride. When you do, you will be able to enjoy all the features and amenities that this form of transportation has to offer.