When you visit a new city, one of the biggest challenges is always finding your way around. Some people prefer to take taxis everywhere, but that can get expensive. You don't always know how reliable the metro is, and you're not sure whether you should take your chances with a bus. Every experience is different, but these transportation tips will come in handy in almost all cases.
Spring for a Taxi or Shuttle
If you're on a tight deadline, spring for a taxi or a shuttle. Say you have to be somewhere at a specific time, and the consequences are dire if you're late. Perhaps you need to be at a job interview or a theater performance. Taking a taxi really is the best bet in cases like these, even though it will cost you more. Taxi drivers know the most direct routes to get places, and they're not as prone to sudden delays as the metro or bus. Shuttles are great if you need transportation to or from an airport, hotel, or tourist attraction. You can also book most taxis and shuttles online, guaranteeing that a car will be there waiting for it as soon as you need it.
If you take the metro, light rail, or subway, leave early. If your deadline is a little less pressing, you can save a bundle by relying on public transport. Do, however, leave earlier than you think is necessary. This will help ensure you're not overly late if you miss the train and have to wait for the next one, or if there is an unexpected delay (which is quite common in most cities.) Most trains come every half hour, if not more frequently, so leaving half hour earlier than planned is a good plan.
Research Bus Routes
Be sure to research bus routes before you get on. Train systems tend to be pretty simple. There are a few lines and a few distinct stops. Bus routes can be much more complicated. Multiple buses may stop at one stop. A bus may take a completely different route one day than another. If you want to ride the bus, really do your research beforehand. Look to see if the city has a bus scheduling app you can download. You should be able to put your destination in the app, and it will tell you exactly which buses to take.
With the transportation tips above, you should have an easier time getting around an unfamiliar city without being really late or spending an unnecessary fortune. Once you've been there a few days, you'll become more familiar with the system and should have an easier time.