Jun 1, 2013

Opting for public transportation {and leaving the car at home}

I've been using public transportation whenever possible. Going to my therapy sessions in Coimbra is one such occasion. I take the train to Coimbra, and then the bus to the hospital.

But it hasn't always been like this. In 2008 I bought my first (and only) car. I opted for one of the smallest and lightest models - it consumes less than the average car, which is good for my wallet and less harmful to the environment. This car quickly became a comfortable extension of my body and after a while I stopped using public transportation altogether. With a heavy conscience, however. 'Cars are not good to the environment' - my conscience kept whispering...

Now I've recommitted to leave the car at home whenever I have an alternative. While doing so I've been learning to better appreciate public transportation. Some of the reasons why I enjoy it are:

> Taking public transportation helps me reduce my carbon footprint!

> The train station is at the distance of a 15-20 minutes walk from my home, which allows for a pleasant walk through the countryside;

> Train travel is peaceful and I get to:
                     - Relax;
                     - Think;
                     - Enjoy the view;
                     - Read;
                     - Write (this post was written on the train, while traveling to Coimbra);
                     - Enjoy a good conversation when I have company.

> Travel by train is much safer than travel by car;

> In the bus I appreciate the diversity of people around me: young college students, elderly sweet couples, mommies with their preschool children, school children, etc!

> Taking public transportation is still, in general, cheaper than driving a car (even though the prices in Portugal have been increasing a lot lately);

> Being a bit redundant, when using public transportation I end  up taking in much more of the environment around me: the people, the physical spaces, the views.

Many times, however, I still feel tempted to use the car, just because it requires less effort. But slowly I'm changing this habit and it feels good :)

How about you? Do you frequently use public transportation? Do you enjoy it? Please share your experience!

See you soon :) 

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