Save. Spend. Splurge.

Public transportation versus cars

Pretty stunning visual of how public transportation trumps taking a car.




I’d also like to note that I have observed people who are really dependent on cars, tend to gain a lot more weight than those who are not.

I know someone who used to be really fit in high school. He didn’t have a car, walked all the time, biked, and took the bus.

The minute he got a car, he stopped doing all of that, and he has since gained 60 pounds over the past few years.

He takes the car EVERYWHERE he goes, and I don’t even think he would know how to take the TTC (Toronto public transportation system) if his life depended on it.

I am not against cars (we have one), I just think we don’t need to use them as often as we think we do. I go out in a car about once a week to get groceries.

Otherwise, I take public transportation because I get there at the same time (sometimes faster, no traffic jams to contend with), and I don’t need to pay for parking.

This picture just about sums it up:




  • Corianne

    That’s a really cool picture 🙂

    I’ve always lived in places that were either very very walkable (once I lived across a supermarket in the centre of town, 3 min from the main shopping street) or have good public transport. I’m very curious to go to the US sometime, to drive around 🙂 I could never imagine going by car inside the city centre in most places I know.

    Right now I live Brussels – the public transport is ok at best in my opinion. I live right across a bus stop with several bus lines, but the streets around where I live are small and really buses in the mornings/late afternoons. It can sometimes take ages to take the bus. Anything up to 30 minutes, I’d rather walk. The metro is a bit of a walk as well – it’s fast, but it doesn’t reach the “right” parts of the city where you would want to get to. The whole network is ok at best – it’s not as fast and well-connected as I was used to in the Netherlands… but then again, I was terribly spoiled 😛

  • Mr. Nerd

    Haha, love that last graphic! I currently live in the ‘burbs of my city, so driving is hard to avoid in many cases. Though I do live relatively close to a metro-station so I do try to take advantage of that when I can. It’s works well when I don’t have to take transfers or change lines, but it gets exponentially more time consuming if I do.

  • Sabrina

    This is what we used starting when the girls were around 10 months. There are many options, of course, and many can be found secondhand. We like this one because the groceries go in the back on saddlebags so having baby in the front helps balance things. We still use the car, however, when it’s pouring rain (we live in vancouver), or when we plan to get something big like sacks of flour/sugar/rice. Cost-wise, things can still add up. Mirrors, ‘dash’ cam, bell, lights for night riding, helmets as the little ones grow, locks, theft. Money isn’t the reason for everything, though. We do it because we think it’s healthy and important.

  • Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents

    I specifically chose my current city (reasonable public transportation for the US) so that I would never have to drive.

  • Stephen

    I’m guilty of avoiding public transportation. I walk anywhere I can but if it’s more than a 20 minute walk then I’m taking my vehicle. It’s a bit costly tho, I put about 6500km a year on my vehicle so I’m sure I could probably sell it and save money by taking car to go or rentals for the long trips.

    Owning a vehicle is my financial guilty pleasure.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I enjoy walking too, but for pleasure.. and only if I am able to get from one street to another and have visual interest. Walking in the country doesn’t help with that. 🙂 It’s all GRASS. Just GRASS.

  • ArianaAuburn

    When I lived in Canada, I loved the public transportation system (because driving up there was SCARY!). Now living in an area where the public transportation sucks (and the weather is crazy), I have to drive more often than I want to so that my groceries don’t spoil. I am lucky to have moved next to a walking/bike riding trail where I can use to ride to campus whenever the weather permits it. Public transportation is worth investing in and using as often as possible.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Canadian driving is scary!??! Well maybe in Montreal. All Montrealers (myself included) are used to driving like maniacs now, although we’re safer than Torontonians because Torontonians assume everyone will give way to them but Montrealers know better.

  • Amanda @ My Life, I Guess

    Yup – I absolutely gained weight when I first got my car. Sadly, public transportation is very limited where I live, as is “walk-ability”.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I hear that. To get to the nearest grocery store by foot where I live, it’s 45 minutes. I could do it but not with a baby strapped to my body… a very big, heavy baby I might add.

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