At a recent travel summit, I met the inspiration Boris Blanche, Managing Director of the International Road Transport Union. During my conversations with the great man, we talked a great deal about using public transport abroad, and how many people are fearful of using such methods of transport. Much is made of issues which take place on public transport abroad, but considering just how many people use such services each and every day, the problems are in fact in the minority.
I have always tried to take public transport when I go away, for me there is something very raw about it which I really love. Many of my friends however, will not use this type of transport, but these are the reasons why I think that everyone should.
Public transport is more often than not supported by the government, which means that the prices are always lower than the costs of riding in Uber, or taking another method of private transport. Whenever I go traveling, money and how much of it that I spend is always uppermost in my mind and so for me, traveling via public transport is a no-brainer and you can use it to really save some money during your travels.
Whenever I visit a new place, I do of course hit the tourist attractions, but for me the real essence of travel is about understanding other ways of life and other cultures. With regards to public transport, I truly believe that this is one of the best ways to get a window into the culture, as this is transport which the locals will use. I have seen some incredible things on public transport around the world, people ferrying all kinds of goods, people singing and dancing, people fighting and lovers kissing. When you ride public transport as opposed to taking taxis, you get the chance to see all different angles of the human spirit, right before your eyes.
In taking public transport abroad, you will be helping to support the economy on the whole and giving something back to the country that you are in. Let’s say for example you take an Uber, you may very well be helping the local driver make some money, but the large share of it will go back to Uber, an international company. Whilst you may say that Uber pay taxes in the country which you are in and therefore they can support the economy, you should possibly look at the way Uber deals with paying tax first.
Invariably the public transport in big cities, especially means such as trains and metros, are much faster than any other mode of transport. If you are looking to get from A to B in the quickest way possible, I’d suggest looking at public transport before anything else.
Next time you go abroad, why not give public transport a try!