Skip to Main Content

8 Tips for Riding Transit Alone At Night

Woman riding bus at night

Traveling by yourself in the city at night can be a very scary experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are eight tips to follow to make your solo nighttime transit rides a bit safer:

  1. Make a Phone Call: The number one thing I do when I find myself commuting alone after dark is to call a family member or close friend. This accomplishes two things: it eases your nerves by talking with someone familiar and discourages anyone from trying anything suspicious since the person on the line will instantly know if something goes wrong. Be careful, however, that you're not too distracted on the phone that you don't pay attention to your surroundings.
  1. Check In: If you don’t call someone, it might be a good idea to at least shoot someone a text with your current location and ETA every once in a while. That way, they’ll know where you were most recently and can find you more easily if something were to happen.
  1. Look at Arrival Times: Bus, train, or subway stations may be considerably less crowded at night. To eliminate risk in waiting at a stop alone for extended periods of time, try to check the arrival of the bus, train, or subway and stay indoors in a public place until just before arrival to ensure you will be waiting for the minimal amount of time.
  1. Try to Avoid Transfers: Given the opportunity, try to choose a line that has a direct route to your destination to eliminate the shuffle, variability, and waiting involved in transferring.
  1. Choose Lines in Well-Lit, Crowded Places: This may go without saying, but picking an evening route with stops in well-lit areas with a healthy amount of foot traffic is a good idea to keep you safe.
  1. Make Sure Your Phone is Charged: A fully charged battery can make a huge difference if an emergency occurs. Be sure to charge your devices before leaving for your commute.
  1. Keep One Ear Open: Never wear both headphones when traveling alone at night. Doing this will make it easier to be aware of your surroundings.
  1. Meet Up with Someone: It may be a comfort to contact a friend or family member and ask if they can meet you at your final stop to make the last leg of your trip less nerve-racking.

To help you plan your nighttime trip, try using some of the trip planning apps mentioned in 5 Apps to Help Plan Your Commute. Ultimately, these tips are remedies to a larger problem. To truly ensure increased safety when traveling alone at night, transit infrastructure needs to be reformed. Advocate for your safety and commute by staying informed on and supporting progressive transit legislature!

Photo Credit: Getty Images