By Tiana Jones
There are countless benefits to catching public transport. You can save money, not have to worry about the stress of getting caught in traffic, reduce the amount of fossil fuel being emitted into the environment, and can even throw a little bit of exercise in from walking to and from your local bus stop. There are certain tricks you can use to make sure you are getting everything you can out of public transport: these seven tips can help make your journey as pleasant, productive and safe as possible.
Be aware that Saturdays and Sundays operate on different timetables.
Saturdays mean a slightly longer wait for trains and buses than during the working week, with Sunday public transport being even more limited. Public transport is still a great way to get around during the weekend, just be aware that the 7 am suburban bus you may catch every Friday may be scheduled for 8 am or later on a Sunday.
Plan ahead on a night out.
Going out with the girls or guys on a Friday night? Know when the last train leaves. Leading up to midnight trains become scarce so check out the timetable on the Transperth app on your phone before you leave the nightclub, you don’t want to be stuck waiting for fifty minutes at the train station on a cold night. The last two trains on the Joondalup and Mandurah Lines leave at 1.15 am and 2.15 am from Perth Underground, with the last trains from Perth Station on the Fremantle, Midland and Armadale Lines departing at 1 am and 2.15 am. If you don’t think you will make the last train have a backup plan ready, such as leaving emergency money in your account for an Uber.
Get a Smartrider.
These sleek little cards will save you both time and money. No need to stop daily for a paper ticket when you can put enough money on your card to last a week. If you’re worried about losing a Smartrider with a large amount of money on it you can register your card with a form available at a Transperth Info Centre or online, so if you lose your card it can be deactivated, and the remaining money can be transferred onto a new Smartrider.
Bring a book.
A long journey on the train is the perfect opportunity to catch up on those novels you have been telling yourself to read for ages. You can’t read while driving so use your time getting around on public transport productively. You won’t believe how quickly the books will add up when reading on the train becomes a regular habit.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Most people who catch public transport are great but just be aware that some people like to pick fights. Don’t rise to the occasion if you can help it, there are times to be confrontational but public transport is not one of them. Staring at someone can be considered rude, taking up a second seat with a backpack on a busy train is unthoughtful, talking too loudly on your phone can be annoying: just be aware of others while travelling. Don’t forget to think about those around you, being thoughtful will make the journey more enjoyable for you and everyone else as well.
Report offensive behaviour.
Transperth is meant to be a safe space for everyone. If you see someone harassing passengers on a train report it to a guard. Footage can be reviewed, and bans can be placed on passengers. Racism, sexism and homophobia should not be tolerated on public transport, and as many Transperth campaigns urge: If you see something that does not seem right, report it.
Know your Timetable.
Although this has been mentioned already in regards to weekends and late nights out, getting to know your local Transperth timetable is valuable throughout the week as well. Having the Transperth app on your phone is a valuable tool. Knowing the exact time your bus leaves the station will save you a huge amount of time throughout the year, as the minutes do add up.
Public transport is a fun, safe and effective way to get around. Free CAT buses available throughout the city are a great incentive to avoid hefty parking tickets, and concessions for students are available. If you’re worried about how much it will cost to park in the city or are worried about being trapped in peak hour on the road consider catching a train or bus instead.