When most people think of traveling across a new city they no doubt first think of subways or taxis or most recently Uber and Lyft have gained popularity.
While the subway is a classic option that epitomizes a city like New York, once you have done it a few times it loses its appeal. You are traveling underground, in the dark where it is often crowded and noisy. You don’t really get to sightsee or explore the city because you’re either going too fast to see anything or under everything interesting to see.
Instead, a much better way of traveling is to go by bus. You can see the sights, enjoy the daylight and catch glimpses of the real city: the hustle and bustle of city life with businessmen and women going about their busy jobs. You can discover the local neighborhoods where you can get some good local grub.
Here’s why you should join the 1 in 10 Americans who use public transport and bus travel in the U.S.
Even in a big city like New York, bus fare is the same price as the subway. In Houston, Texas, bus fare is just $1.25. Yet the subway receives more than double the traffic than the bus service even though the bus service offers a similar, if not better, service.
The cost of both is also much cheaper than an Uber or Lyft, even if you opt for their more economical car-sharing option.
Many have the misconception that buses are an inconvenient or uncomfortable option but this isn’t the case as more companies offer comfortable seats, air conditioning, and even free wifi.
On a bus, you will usually be able to get a seat whereas, on a subway train, the chances are they are usually going to be full up or you’re going to have to scramble to get one.
A bus is also cleaner and more comfortable whereas the subway is often considered more rough and ready.
If you’re rich and famous, the chances are you are going to have a personal driver to take you around the city or you are going to walk around downtown trying to find your way to local attractions.
When traveling by bus in a new city you practically get your own personal tour of the city. As each bus stop helps point out streets and gives you an opportunity to see points of interest. You can always hop off and see something before hopping back on the next one.
It’s also a glorious way to indulge in some people spotting and watch how ordinary Americans go about their everyday life.
Save the Planet
Traveling by bus is a lot better for the environment than catching a private taxi, a shared taxi, driving yourself or catching a plane.
In a bus, dozens of people are sharing the emissions and cutting down on their personal carbon footprint. In a taxi, this is only spread by 4-5 people whereas when you are in a car you are carrying the whole burden of your carbon dioxide output.
If you travel into the city from further afield and you have the money to do so, it can be tempting to fly in. But doing so will reap incredible damage on the environment and might not save you as much time as you think as you will have to get a bus or catch the subway into the city center which can often be miles out of the city.
The famous Greyhound buses that travel across the country can get you where you need to go if you have time to spare.
Slower Pace of Life
Buses can change the way you feel about your life. If you rush around on the subway you can feel burned out and exhausted very easily. If you get around by car you can feel isolated and lonely, disconnected from the world. You also have to deal with traffic jams and road rage.
But on a bus, you have the opportunity to meet your fellow Americans but you also don’t have to rush around. You can sit comfortably and stare out of the window as the bus plods along to its next destination. Take the time to catch up on your reading without feeling guilty because you have a long to-do list. You can sit back and get lost in your latest novel or listen to some of your favorite tunes or ebook in headphones as you sit back and enjoy the ride.
Buses tend to run reguarly, there is also no need to worry about missing the bus as another one will be along shortly.
Private buses are also an option: you could consider booking a charter bus if you have a large group of people. Use a private company to book bus travel.
One advantage of taking a bus is that is often easy to get on and off. Rather than having to race down the stairs and underground, as you do on a subway station, you queue up at the side of the road.
A specific bus platform where the bus can pull in means it is a safe experience and more orderly than a subway where the doors shut automatically at a certain time regardless of who is on the subway.
The bus driver will wait for everybody queuing up to enter the bus before he or she drives off.
Bus Travel Is the Best Way to See a New City
Whether you have just moved to a new city looking at new ways to travel across town or you’re just heading to somewhere new for a flying visit or a vacation, bus travel offers a variety of benefits over other forms of transport.
It is a cheaper, more environmentally friendly and a much more communal experience that can see you making new friends that you would never make traveling in a private car or taxi.
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