Cultural Orientation for Refugees


Public Transportation in the U.S.

  • Read - Public Transportation in the U.S. Fact Sheet
  • Listen - Public Transportation in the U.S. Podcast
  • Watch - Public Transportation in the U.S. Slideshow

There are different types of transportation available to you when you arrive in your new community. Most communities have one or more forms of public transportation. You will need to know how to use public transportation safely. Your resettlement agency will give you information about public transportation in your new community soon after you arrive.

There are laws in the United States that regulate walking, biking, and driving a car. When you first arrive in the United States, you will probably spend a lot of time walking to the places you need to go. Soon, you will start taking public transportation. Public transportation varies from place to place. In some places, it can take you almost everywhere you need to go. In other places, public transportation may operate only occasionally or may not exist.

Owning or having access to a personal vehicle comes with benefits and responsibilities. Owning and driving a car in the United States can be expensive. During your first months in the United States, you may need to use public transportation to get around your new community. Later, after you have a job and can afford car expenses, you may decide to purchase a car, but there are laws regarding car insurance, driver’s licenses, and safety that you need to understand and obey if you buy a car.

Types of Public Transportation
Public transportation allows people in a city to travel throughout a city without a car. You will need to know how to safely board, ride, and exit the types of transportation you use. In the United States, there are three major types of public transportation: buses, subways, and commuter trains. They run on a schedule and stop at certain locations to allow riders to get off or on. Most of the time, you will need to buy a ticket to use public transportation. Taxis and other private car services may also be available, but they are usually expensive.

Walking and Biking
Be aware of traffic signs and signals so that you are safe when walking in your community. Use sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or corners.

Many cities provide special lanes for bicycles and also have traffic and safety regulations especially for cyclists. Biking is a practical and inexpensive way of getting around, but it is important to know and follow traffic rules in order to bike safely.

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