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Let us take you on a high-speed chase to demystify the use of public transportation.

Bus audio: Pedaling Prince
Tire screech 1 audio: audible-edge

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Oh my God, we're never going to make it in time before YouTube explodes! Oh yes we will! [SCREECH].

That's because we're on fast, reliable public transportation! Oh! Phew!

That's a relief. [♪♩INTRO]. According to the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2016. But if you've never relied on a bus, subway, train or ferry to get around, it might seem kind of daunting.

So sit back and we'll take you on a high-speed chase to learn a few things you should know before trying to take public transportation for the first time! Every time I'm in a new city I get so freaked out by trying to get on the bus. It makes me extremely nervous.

Okay. I hope that this helps me. #1 - Routes and schedules! In most industrialized countries, public transportation runs on established routes and set schedules.

Routes might be designated by numbers, like “Bus 1,” or colors, like “the Blue Train.” Each route will typically follow a set schedule that might change according to the time of day; for instance, some buses and trains might run more often during peak commuter hours in the morning and evening. It may surprise you to learn that you have to know the schedule to get where you're going on time! This makes a certain amount of sense.

It's your responsibility to get to the bus stop or train station a few minutes before it's scheduled to depart. Machines break down, weather can be bad, sometimes people are late. It happens!

The thing about schedules, is that you need to be on time, even if the bus isn't. #2 Learn the schedules and the routes! In the dark days before smartphones, you usually had to rely on printed signs and fold-out paper maps to figure out what the bus schedule would be. These days, most transit systems also offer some kind of smartphone app unique to the area that will let you plug in your current location and your destination to show you the routes and schedules instantaneously.

Smartphone apps also often send out alerts letting you know if there's been an accident and your bus will be late. These alerts won't always be 100% reliable because, well, technology, but it's better than nothing! Even if your transit system doesn't have its own app, bigger apps like Google Maps,.

Embark or Travalert will probably cover the basics. You can also look up their timetables on their website before you leave, or just do it the old-fashioned paper map way: find your destination on the map, figure out what line runs closest to it, trace it back to the stop that's closest to you (you may need to transfer lines at a transfer station or shared stop in the middle), and then check the arrival and departure times of each line you'll be taking. #3 Get on the bus! (Or train, or ferry, etc.) So of course, you need to figure out where the stop is. If you're in a busy city with a big transit system, this can be confusing.

Take a minute to consider which direction the bus you're taking is going and what side of the street that would be on. That's an important tip. I've made this mistake.

Sometimes the stop you want isn't across the street from the one going the opposite direction because of the way the streets are laid out, so try to look around a bit and see if there's a stop further up the way. Keep in mind that your stop might be inside of a building, or underground, as well. It helps to double-check Google Maps, your transit app, or a paper map to make sure you're in the correct spot.

Oh, and make sure you're getting onto the correct bus or train. Sometimes one stop will be used by multiple lines, so it can be easy to accidentally get into the wrong vehicle. Finally, if you're super stuck, it's okay to ask a friendly passerby or transit employee if they can point you in the right direction, too.

Which reminds me... #4 Ask for help if you're confused. Plenty of transit systems have information booths at their transit centers where employees can show you the ropes. Or if you're just out somewhere waiting for a bus or train, you might be able to approach a friendly-seeming passenger or transit employee and ask them how to get where you're going.

Keep in mind, it's not polite to hold up a bus driver for 10 minutes asking for detailed directions, but it is a pretty normal part of transit to check with other people if you're not sure where you're going. Everyone had to learn the system at some point, and if you ask politely, chances are someone can help you out. #5 Pay for your ride. Depending on where you are, your transit system may need exact change for your ride, which, of course, means you need to look up ahead of time and see how much the fare's gonna be.

A lot of transit systems, though, have ticket booths or machines where you can use a card to buy your fare, or get a rechargeable card or pass. It's worth it to see if the system offers daily, weekly or monthly unlimited ride passes; they're usually a good deal. #6 Other passengers. The thing about public transportation is that, well, there's a good chance that you'll be surrounded by a lot of people, and you won't have all that much control over who you're sharing the space with.

The vast majority of people taking public transit are, like you, trying to get somewhere without a hassle. But you can expect the occasional intrusive person or overly chatty stranger. If you'd like to get where you're going without interacting with strangers, that's okay!

Your best defense is to wear headphones or earbuds and bring something to do, like reading a book or watching a video on your phone. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that some people won't still try to invade your space in not-awesome ways. Harassment is, unfortunately, commonly reported on many mass transit systems.

If someone's making you uncomfortable, you can get up, move to another seat, and try to engage with a friendly bystander to help defuse the situation or distract the harasser. You can also report the incident to the transit authority itself, which helps organizations understand the extent of the problem and take steps to protect riders. Some organizations, including the MTA in New York and the LA County Metro, have forms on their websites where you can report incidents. #7 Be polite to other passengers!

Public transit might force you to sit or stand closer to strangers than you'd like, but it's part of the reason that transit systems are more affordable than taking a personal car. When you're using public transport, keep your hands, knees and belongings to yourself. Avoid the “manspread”.

Sometimes you'll get on the train and there will be lots of seats, and you'll just put your bag on the seat next to you and then a few stops later suddenly there aren't a lot of seats. Take your bag off the seat so somebody can sit there. I hate that when people do that.

Try to avoid having loud phone conversations, listening to music without headphones, eating smelly food or using strongly scented body products, too. You might love your Tuna Melt Cologne, but that doesn't mean everyone else does. #8 Once you've reached your destination, exit at your stop! There will usually be signage or a map posted in the vehicle, so follow along and keep track of where you are as you're moving.

Some transit systems will automatically stop at every stop, others expect you to pull a little cord to let the driver know that you need to get off at that stop so they don't have to stop at a stop if nobody's going to get off. So figure out which one of those you are on. Otherwise, the driver might just blow past your stop.

As a side note: if you're pulling a cord, the bus you're on won't usually stop immediately, it will have to find a suitable place to stop, which may be up to a few blocks from where you pulled the cord. Some systems, like ferries, will announce on the loudspeakers when you've reached your destination. Which I assume is usually when you get to the land.

I don't know a lot about ferries. But Congratulations! You've made it to your destination!

If you've got tips on how to use public transportation, leave them in the comments below! And if you want to learn more about how to navigate being an adult in our modern world with Rachel and I, subscribe to our channel at We're never going to make it on time before YouTube explodes!

It stopped. [OFF SCREEN] Can we also try one where you say that's because [OFF SCREEN] we're taking fast, reliable public transportation [OFF SCREEN] really cool? That wasn't cool? [LAUGHTER]. Say it like REALLY cool, though.

Americans took t.... [small voice] 10.4 billion trips... One time I asked for help at the D. C. airport and the guy looked at me and said, "Do I look like I work here?" Nooooo [LAUGHTER] [OFF SCREEN] Did he look like he worked there?

No! No I thought he was just a guy! Like, I was asking a guy where the taxis were!