Tips for navigating public transportation

Moving to a big city may mean ditching your vehicle, but that's not necessarily a bad thing – after all, this could mean saying goodbye to pricey and unnecessary parking tickets. While you will no longer have to deal with car payments, maintenance costs and expensive gas prices, you will need to figure out how to use the public transportation system.

If complicated subway and bus routes have your heart pounding at the thought of getting lost in a big city, consider the following tools to quickly become familiar with a new city's transit system:

Smartphone help: Big cities have websites with transit schedules and trip planners so you can find the best route for where you want to go. If you have a smartphone, you can access this information on-the-go simply by going to the public transportation system's website.

Private companies even have apps dedicated to tracking buses or subway trains. For example, you can download an app for the public bus system in your city. The app will then tell you at what time the next bus will arrive. This information is especially helpful if you have been waiting at a stop for long enough to consider taking a cab or walking to your destination.

Google Street View: Again, smartphone users can rejoice at this nifty little invention. The Street View option on Google Maps can help you determine where the nearest subway stop is located in relation to your apartment or office. This is a great tool that can help you become familiar with nearby roads, restaurants and shops.

Conduct a dry run: The first day of a new job can be intimidating enough, and the last thing you want to do is show up late because you hopped on the wrong train. The weekend before your big day, pull up the bus or train schedule on your phone and conduct a dry run to your new office. This way, you can become familiar with the route and will have an estimate of how long your daily commute will be.

Transit cards: While you may be using cash the first few times you are on public transportation, you will want to look into what sort of transit passes your city has to offer. Many places provide one central card that can be used for buses, trains and transfers. Also, if you will be using public transportation several times a day, an unlimited card can have significant savings.