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For process servers in large cities, there is often plenty of work available — but it often proves difficult to get the job done. Large cities have scarce parking and where parking is available, it often comes with a hefty price tag. When process servers in large cities opt to drive a personal vehicle, they often waste time finding parking or fighting traffic. Additionally, the cost associated with parking can cut into a process servers’ earnings. While some apps can show where free parking exists, like ParkNav, those free street spots are often taken by individuals who are local to the area. So how can process servers who rely on getting to and from serves in busy cities solve this problem? The answer is simple: public transportation.
The most important aspect of utilizing public transportation actually starts before you get out to attempt service. In order to create an efficient schedule, you must plan your day to maximize your time as well as your money. We recommend laying out all the serves you need to get done on a particular day and their locations to find the most efficient route (consider doing this whether or not you plan on taking public transportation). The less time you have to spend getting to the location the more productive you will be! By planning your day effectively, you will eliminate the need to backtrack, and you will ensure that you are making it as inexpensive as possible to get from point A to point B.
If you plan on taking public transportation often, invest in a monthly pass to cut down costs even further. Different systems and cities have different standards and pricing, so do some research to find the best option for you. If public transportation isn’t your typical style but you need to grab a quick bus ride, be sure to have some cash on hand. Most bus systems don’t accept cards as payment and don’t give out change. Luckily, trains and light rails often have ticketing stations where you can pay with a card.
Using public transportation is easier than ever, thanks to new technology that makes getting around simple. There are a number of transportation apps that can help you plan your route for the day. Some of the apps are city-specific, like OneBusAway or Next Ride in Denver. These apps will let you know where the routes are for public transit, as well as where the location and time of stops. Planning your day’s serves by using the public transportation schedule can help you make the best of your time.
Public transportation across the United States varies greatly. East Coast cities like Washington DC, New York, and Boston have subway systems that can take you almost anywhere you need within city limits. Other cities like San Francisco rely on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) that extends past the city. Instead of fighting California’s notorious traffic, it may even be better to take a train!
The best way to prepare is to know what public transportation options are available and use applications, maps, and state-provided information.
In addition to public transit apps, you can also utilize mapping websites/apps, such as Google Maps and Apple Maps to help plan your day. Both Google Maps and Apple Maps feature built-in public transportation mapping options, which can simplify the planning process. Both of these apps are free to use, and if you have an iPhone, the Apple Maps is already downloaded for you. These mapping tools can also help you become familiar with the area by allowing you to see satellite imagery of the location. That way, if you have a service in an unfamiliar spot, you can actually see landmarks before you visit the area, making you less likely to miss a stop or inadvertently go in the wrong direction.
While public transportation is typically limited to the bus or the train, other options like local taxi companies, Ubers, and Lyfts provide additional transportation options, which is a huge relief especially if you get into a bind. While these are a bit more expensive than traditional public transportation (and obviously more than walking, which is free), they can provide access to areas that are too far to walk and in areas which public transportation does not service. Be sure to download these apps in advance and become familiar with them so that in the event you need to use them in an emergent situation you will be ready to go.
If public transportation is the best option to travel between serves, use the time to your advantage. Since your attention won’t be focused on the road (but pay attention to when to get off at your stop!) you can get other work done. Organizing your emails and reading up on new process service techniques or legislation can provide entertainment that helps support your business.
While public transportation can provide the transit solutions urban process servers are looking for, servers should take a car when they are serving a defendant who may act hostile or aggressively. If your client provides information that suggests the serve will not go smoothly, you will want an accessible vehicle to quickly leave the scene should your safety be in jeopardy.
Ultimately, for process servers, the job has to get done somehow. In some cases, that means that process servers will take a hit on take-home pay in order to reach the individual who needs to be served. However, planning your day to maximizing your schedule and transportation budget will allow you to get the job done as efficiently as possible. What kind of transportation do you use? Do you serve in busy cities and have tips for process servers? Let us know in the comments!
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