Looking to travel like a local via public transportation? This is a great way to travel and to get to know a city more closely. If you've never traveled by bus or subway before, it can be intimidating at first however.

We'll support you though! Here you'll learn phrases that will help you easily and efficiently navigate public transportation systems in English-speaking countries. Have a look at the table below and get ready to travel like a pro!

Essential Phrases

Where is the nearest subway station?
 
When is the next bus to Los Angeles?
 
What time does the subway come?
 
How frequently do the buses stop here?
 
The bus leaves every 30 minutes.
 
What time does the last subway leave?
 
Where can I buy a ticket?
 
How much does a ticket cost?
 
Is there a group rate?
 
I need a one-way ticket.
 
Where should I change trains to get to New York City?
 
Does this bus go to Washington, D.C.?
 
Where do I have to get off if I want to go to the stadium?
 
Is there a subway map nearby?
 
The bus is much faster.
 
The train is always on time.
 
 
Where is the nearest subway station?
If you are lost in the city and need to find your way to the nearest bus stop, train station, or metro, then you can ask for directions by using the sentence pattern Where is the nearest + PLACE ?. Alternatively, you could also use the sentence pattern Is there a + PLACE + nearby? to do the same thing. For example: Is there a metro station nearby?. There are many ways that somebody could answer a question like this. For example: If you go down the next street on your right then you'll find a subway station.
How frequently do the buses stop here?
To find out how often a train, bus, or tram comes to a station or stop, ask questions using the sentence pattern How frequently do + MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION + stop here?. Another example demonstrating this pattern is: How frequently do trains stop here?. Somebody might respond to a question like these with something like: A new one stops here every ten minutes or so.
What time does the last subway leave?
Questions like this one are very important to know and ask if you are unsure when the last subway, bus, train, etc leaves. If you miss the last one, you'll be stuck and either have to walk home or get a taxi! A response to a question like this would look like: The last subway is at midnight.
Is there a group rate?
Another way to ask this question is: Is there a group price?. If you are taking public transportation with more than one person, it's usually a good idea to check if there are group tickets or a group rate. It's normally a lot cheaper to buy one group ticket than to buy several single tickets for everyone. There's a lot of different ways somebody could respond to this question. For example like this: Yes, there is a group ticket that is valid for a group of five.
I need a one-way ticket
Whenever you buy a ticket to use public transportation, you should always be sure that you are buying the correct one. The two most common types of tickets are one-way tickets and round trip tickets. A one-way ticket is valid for a single ride to your destination; you'll have to buy another one if you want to come back. A round trip ticket will take you to your destination and back. If you tell an employee in a subway station, for example, that you need a one-way ticket, they will most likely tell you the price or where you can get a ticket. For example, like this: You can purchase tickets over at the ticket counter.

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most important phrases that I need to know when talking about public transportation in English?
  • Where is the nearest subway station?
  • When is the next bus to Los Angeles?
  • What time does the subway come?
  • How much does a ticket cost?
  • How frequently do the buses stop here?
  • What time does the last subway leave?
  • Where should I change trains to get to New York City?
What types of public transportation are common in English-speaking countries?
Most English-speaking countries have highly developed public transportation systems. You'll find taxis, subways, buses, and trains in most cities. It's most common to use public transportation when you live inside a city or just outside of one. If you travel or live out in the countryside there are far fewer public transportation options.
How expensive is public transportation?
It's always a good idea to do your research before traveling anywhere. If you plan to use public transportation when you are in an English-speaking country, you should always check ticket prices for the city that you will be traveling to. Normally, there are no national prices, so how much you pay will depend on what form of transportation you are taking and where you are.
How do I find out where public transport is?
Here are two different ways to ask in English if there are means of public transportation nearby:

Where is the nearest + PLACE ?
  • Where is the nearest subway station?
  • Where is the nearest bus station?
  • Where is the nearest taxi stop?

Is there a + PLACE + nearby?
  • Is there a subway station nearby?
  • Is there a bus stop nearby?
  • Is there a train station nearby?