Public Transportation

If a country has a pattern of tourists being targeted by criminals on public transport, that information is mentioned in the Consular Information Sheets. Follow these general guidelines when traveling on public transportation overseas:

  • Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs.
  • Well organized, systematic robbery of passengers on trains along popular tourists routes is a serious problem. It is more common at night and especially on overnight trains.
  • When in a train corridor on a train platform, if you see your way being blocked by a stranger and another person is very close to you from behind, move away.
  • Do not accept food or drink from strangers. Criminals have been known to drug food or drink offered to passengers.
  • Criminals may also spray sleeping gas in train compartments.
  • Where possible, lock your compartment. If it cannot be locked securely, take turns sleeping in shifts with your traveling companions. If that is not possible, stay awake.
  • If you must sleep on the train unprotected, tie down your luggage, strap your valuables to you and sleep on top of them as much as possible.
  • Do not be afraid to alert authorities if you feel threatened in any way.
  • Extra police are often assigned to ride trains on routes where crime is a serious problem.

The same type of criminal activity found on trains can be found on public buses on popular tourist routes. For example, tourists have been drugged and robbed while sleeping on buses or in bus stations. In some countries whole bus loads of passengers have been held up and robbed by gangs of bandits.

(Adapted from the Department of State Publication 10942 Bureau of Consular Affairs.)