I'm afraid to take the bus

I want to save money but taking a bus scares me

Are you driving your car all the way to work rather then use public transportation? You want to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment but you hesitate. Is it because you are nervous about taking that bus trip?

Reports by Canada's Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children reports that almost 60% of women are anxious about using public transport. These women also can feel worried while waiting alone after dark for the bus to arrive.

This is common sense as you can be especially vulnerable to violent crime when you are isolated or in a remote area. You need to be especially aware when you are approaching your vehicle at a parking lot or waiting for the bus or train.

Some safety measures you should use include:

  • Seek areas that are well-lit with lots of people around when you are entering or exiting. Use stations that have obvious security surveillance cameras. If you can plan your trip with this in mind that you are controlling your risk to some degree.
  • A child should not travel alone. Make sure that children have a trusted adult to accompany them. Teach your child about safety around buses and trains. Take the time to show them how to approach a train or bus and where the dangerous areas are located. Talk about what to do in an emergency. Children should have a family code word and an emergency back-up plan. The plan should not hinge on a cell phone contact though it can include this step.
  • Pay attention to the behaviours of others around you. If your inner voice is telling you to move, then do so. Change your seat and if necessary take further action such as alerting the driver to a problem or leaving the bus. Be careful about leaving the bus if the person who is making you uneasy also disembarks.
  • Carry your cell phone and be prepared to call for help if you need it.
  • Do not carry your wallet in your back pocket. Keep your belongings close. A purse should be held firmly under the arm and the strap looped over the shoulder if possible. Hold it tight to your body.
  • Do not pick up a package left behind on a public transport. Notify the driver and do not disturb the package.
  • Be conscious of the fact that you might have to defend yourself at some point. Like a boy scout, try to be prepared. When you approach your vehicle in a parking lot be sure to check the back seat before getting into your car. Try to park in a well-lit area with security cameras.

Remember that sometimes the best defense is simply to be in great shape and able to run away. Make a lot of noise if you are in trouble, get lots of attention. Consider a self defense course such as "Lady Beware". Ideally you want to avoid conflict if possible.