Your Bus Pass Might Be Your Best Purchase of the Year

It's easy to rag on public transit. Depending on your city, it might be unreliable, dirty, or just prone to catching on fire. But before you start longing for the freedom of your own car, consider this: Your transit pass might be saving you more than just money.

Public health researchers at the University of Montreal have just shared findings on which modes of urban transportation are safest. The clear winner: the humble autobus. Not only do riders presumably save on cars and their associated costs (insurance, upkeep, etc), but per kilometer traveled, buses produced the fewest severe and fatal injuries.

Part of this comes from infrastructure. City bus drivers go through training to receive their license, and cities with bus lanes clearly demarcate spaces for different vehicles. Buses also drive more slowly than most cars, while their set routes make them predictable actors in a chaotic street.

This doesn't mean you should give up other means of getting around. City biking can be a great, low-cost mode of transportation. In fact, those who worry that a bicycle will be slower than a car often can't accurately guess how long a given trip will take, whether by foot or on wheels — even when biking is faster.

Public transit does incur other costs beyond fare; time, stress, and convenience are very real considerations for any city dweller. But if you want to play it safe and save a bunch on ownership, consider the buses next time you're heading out.