When traveling to a new place, you'll have the choice of how to get around. You could rent a car, take some Ubers/Lyfts, taxi, walk... or you can get to know the public transport.
Not everyone chooses the last option. Public transport can be intimidating to work out when you're not used to the routes and area, even more so if it's in another language. But there are a bunch of good reasons to sit down on the website or with a leaflet, read about the public transport, and work out exactly where and how to use it.
10 Taxis May Not Be Widely Available
If you're planning on relying on taxis, you may want to double check the area. Some places have public transport going around but taxis aren't super widely available, so you may find yourself stuck when trying to call one.
This is particularly true of the rideshare taxi-adjacent options such as Uber and Lyft, who are still only available in major cities in most parts of the world and can't be hailed in rural areas. Don't get a nasty surprise when you open your app to call one and the nearest is fifty miles away.
9 And If They Are, They May Be Expensive
Even if they do have taxis — they can be super expensive in some areas, more than you were expecting. If you're really against relying on public transport, you should definitely look up a taxi estimate of the routes you're planning.
And seeing the price may just be enough to make you change your mind about dismissing public transport.
8 ...Or Take Advantage Of Tourists
Even if it seems that taxis are plentiful and aren't expensive in the area, it's not always a good idea to take one. Some taxis will take advantage of people who aren't from the area, taking much longer routes than necessary in order to charge you more.
For this reason, you should pre-negotiate a taxi price before you get in... Or, be safer, and avoid them all together. You're much less likely to get scammed using public transport.
7 You'll Get To Know Your Way Around More
When using public transport, you're unlikely to go straight from A to B as you would if you were taking a taxi or driving, because that transport has other stops to make and you'll have to get to the bus stop, train station, etc. In a place you're familiar with, this might just be a delay and be inconvenient; in a new place, this is an advantage.
You'll be brought along streets and roads you may have otherwise never seen, and it's a good way to explore the corners of the city or town you're in just by sitting and looking out of the window as the bus rolls past.
6 And Might Pick Up Some Of The Language
You may actually pick up some of the local language if you're using public transport in a place where their primary language isn't the same as yours! By looking at the instructions and translating them in order to buy your ticket and get around, you might pick up enough words to speak to cashiers and buy your tickets, and any little bit helps — even if it's just a few words here and there.
5 It's A Good Way To Get To Know The Locals
This one comes with a bit of a disclaimer: not everyone loves a stranger starting a conversation with them on public transport. So don't walk up to the nearest person without reading signals and start making small talk about the weather if they're staring at you like you'd rather go away (or if they have earphones in: the universal "don't talk to me").
But if you need help or directions, ask someone who looks friendly and you'll get a good feel for the people around the place, even if you don't specifically make any new friends. It'll get in some socializing that you may otherwise not have had.
4 It'll Help Your Navigation Skills
Navigation can be difficult and although there's something to be said for plugging your destination into a GPS and following the instructions, navigating public transport takes a bit more planning when it comes to routes. Especially if you don't know the place. The more you practice doing this in a new place, the easier it'll get.
3 And Help Build Your Confidence In A New Place
Being in a new place can be intimidating in general, and there's no better way to build your confidence by becoming comfortable in your surroundings. Shuttling yourself from place to place in an Uber probably isn't going to do this — just another good reason to get out there and navigate through the transport.
2 It'll Ease The Traffic If It's Busy
In some places, you really, really do not want to add to the traffic. Take New York City or London — those places can be gridlocked and take you an hour to travel a mile, but if you had just hopped on the subway/underground... you would have been there in seconds.
Yes, there are places where public transport can actually be a lot faster than driving! Anyone who's lived in a major city has probably experienced this already.
1 It's Always Good To Help The Environment A Little
Of course, walking would help even more. But if the places you're going between are just a little too far to walk, taking public transport is a little more ecologically friendly than renting a car and adding to the pollution on the streets.
So, yes — public transport can start out as intimidating and it's easy to make the decision to avoid it, but there are many reasons that stepping out of your comfort zone could be seriously beneficial in this area. Do it once and the next time you go to a new city, it'll be easier to push yourself.