It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is if you’re not stuck waiting for a bus in the middle of a blizzard.
Keep these suggestions in mind for a stress-free ride this season.
Allow time for delays.
Public transportation is notoriously unreliable, to begin with, but when you throw inclement weather into the mix in the wintertime, all bets are off. A 15-minute train ride could take an hour, so make sure that you factor in some extra time to get to where you’re going. There’s nothing worse than watching the minutes tick by and not be able to do anything about it when you’re already late for a very important date.
Get an app.
No matter which major city you’re in, there’s at least a couple of apps that will help you better plan for your commute. Whether it’s determining the optimal route or finding out the arrival time of the next train or bus, try downloading Transit, Moovit, or CityMapper to stay on top of your public transportation plans.
Even if your train leaves on schedule, who knows how long it will take you to reach your destination. While you’ll still get cell service underground in some cities — like Boston — it’s always a good idea to bring a book or some music to pass the time when you’ve grown tired of people-watching.
Dress in layers.
Sure, it might be cold outside, but things can heat up — fast — when you’re shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of other people on a packed train at rush hour. Bundle up with scarves, cardigans, and jackets that can easily be removed when it gets stuffy, so you can keep your cool and minimize the misery of a crowded place.
This one applies at any time of the year, but it’s especially easy to be grumpy when it’s cold, dark, and miserable outside. You’re all in the same boat, so extend some common courtesy to your fellow riders. Consider giving up your seat to disabled, elderly, or pregnant individuals, let people exit the train before you get on, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you see or hear something that doesn’t sit right with you.