I'm an absolutely
avid subway fan. Being a travel writer, I've had the opportunity
to experience the underground systems in cities 'round
the world and I've loved it. For me, taxis are not an
option. They're far too insular and they generally make
too much of a dent in my pocketbook. Besides, it's much
more fun in the subway where one can enjoy people watching
at it's very best.
However, as with
all other 'big city' experiences, women must take extra
care as they ride the rails. Both at home and away, there
are several simple ways to reduce risks, save money and
maximize fun while using public transportation. Be a true
Journeywoman. Be subway savvy!
Do your homework
well before you travel. Check the internet, contact the
Tourist Boards and transit commissions, refer to the latest
guidebooks and chat with women who have travelled before
you. These sources offer reams of information designed
to familiarize the user with rates, routes and specific
information. Learn a little before you travel and you'll
feel a lot more confident at your destination.
- In cyberspace
check out two very informative links -- Subway
Navigator and Subways
of the World, for everything you ever wanted to
know about any underground transportation system, anywhere.
- Peruse the shelves
of your favorite travel bookshop. In particular, the
Rough Guide series, usually includes colored
subway maps at the end of each of their books.
- The Toronto
Transit Commission publishes a Free Ride Guide
as well as a pamphlet called 'How To Ride The TTC',
available in 15 languages and designed to inform and
educate new immigrants to their city. To request further
info, click here.
- In London, England,
The London Regional Transport's Unit For Disabled Passengers
offers a booklet called 'Access to the Underground'
which gives info on lifts and ramps at individual Underground
stations. This publication is available free from LRT
ticket offices or from 55 Broadway, London, SW1H 0BD,
England. Tel: 0171 918 3312. The Unit also provides
Braille maps for the visually impaired.
Special Traveller's Tip:
Save money! Before purchasing your subway tokens,
find out about any special deals being offered. In
Paris, buying a carnet of ten tickets is much
more economical than purchasing one single fare. San
Francisco has their Fast Pass, London offers
an economical Day Pass and if you're travelling with
your family, you'll love Toronto's Sunday and
Holiday Family Pass.