When travelling, public transportation is generally the best way to navigate an unfamiliar city and avoid paying the high fees of renting a vehicle or taking private transportation. As a rule, tourist destinations usually have great public transportation that takes the stress out of sightseeing. Some countries, however, have public transport systems that are dangerous enough to put your belongings and even you at risk.

Lima, Peru

This South American city has a notoriously dangerous public transit system. A majority of Lima residents use the metro bus system to navigate the city. Lima’s bus system is so haphazard that catching your bus is often a matter of luck. Bus drivers here are known for their reckless driving — in fact, bus accidents account for nearly half of roadway crashes in the city of Lima. Taking a bus ride here is an uncertain gamble with your safety, and bus accident laws favour bus drivers at this time.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. It is also a poverty-stricken area. These two factors make the public transportation of Mexico City one of the most dangerous in the world. There are two ways to get around: the train and the bus system. Buses are unsafe for women in particular because of the pervasiveness of sexual assault, while the train is rife with pickpockets and muggers. Additionally, tourists are more likely to be targeted for crime than locals.

Bogota, Colombia

Bogota’s TransMilenio bus service is an exceptionally fast way to navigate the city. The bus tickets are fairly cheap, but the buses are overcrowded. The crush of passengers makes the perfect environment for criminals to go undetected. Security officers cannot keep up with the numerous pickpockets who nab phones, wallets, and bags before quickly disappearing back into the crowds. It is also an unsafe environment for unaccompanied women as sexual assault continues to rise on the TransMilenio.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Traffic is so bad in Jakarta that TransJakarta, the public bus system, is the only way to ensure that you will reach your destination in a timely manner. Jakarta’s public buses are a little more expensive, which means they are cleaner and less crowded. Unfortunately, TransJakarta has been named among the most dangerous public transportation system for women. Police attention is lax enough that women are consistently groped, attacked, and verbally harassed.


If you are travelling to these countries, you may want to consider private transportation options for a safer journey. Your tour guide or hotel staff often have the best information on the safest means of transport in the area.