This is a weird post to write because I’ve actually never owned a car, so how could I compare car ownership to being car-less, right? My parents always had a car, but I hardly ever used it. Come to think of it, my parents hardly ever used their gas-guzzler themselves, so maybe the lack of love for Europe and America’s ultimate symbol of freedom has rubbed off on their favourite son – don’t worry, I’m their only male child and my sister is a much more likeable person.
Since getting my driver’s license I have maybe driven their family car four or five times. One time I almost scared my mother to death by going in reverse instead of driving forward when leaving our home after joking to her that I maybe forgot how to drive. Maybe my joke was lost on her or she didn’t think it was funny, but I made sure to not return until things had cooled off.
Anyway, living without a car is awesome and here’s why.
1. No traffic jams
When asked which city has the worst traffic worldwide you’d probably answer Paris, London, L.A. or New York, but you’d be dead-wrong. The number one congested city in the entire world is Brussels. Guess which city takes second place? Antwerp. You see, not only do Belgians love beer and chocolate, we’re also huge fans of idling our engines.
Sitting on your butt doing nothing in an enclosed space really doesn’t sound like something we should be doing day in day out, so that’s why I’m happy to say that traffic jams are a prerogative of the car owner. As an environmental stressor that impedes movement between two points, traffic jams are car commuters’ worst enemy. Nothing is more infuriating than not knowing when the cars in front of you will finally start moving again.
As someone who bikes everywhere, I can’t stress – geddit? – enough how fun it is to zip by lanes and lanes of stuck cars.
On top of that, biking, just like walking to places, keeps you healthy and your body in shape. What’s not to love about staying fit while not actively trying work out? Making a ten minute walk to the grocery store or peddling to your nearest friend’s home burns more calories than you’d think. By taking the almighty automobile you’re forgoing these little moments, which often leads to awful physical fitness or even excess weight.
Of course, even if you had a luxurious vehicle parked in your garage, you could still decide to take your trusty bike instead, but as is often the case, people are more likely to chose the easy way out. Not having a car at your disposal forces you to use your feet or your soon well-trained calves.
3. Enjoyable surroundings and environment
Walking and biking around town is not only healthy, it’s often plain good fun! You have no idea how many random things have happened to me while out and about in the city, things I’d never have seen behind the wheel. Because you’re moving much slower – unless you’re stuck in traffic, of course – there’s just more time to take in your environment. That awesome 18th century architectural building down the road? Not a single car user noticed it, just cyclists.
If you’re worried about our environment or at least the sustainability of earth’s resources, you’ll also be glad to know that not owning a car has a big impact on your environmental footprint. Mother Earth will be very grateful if you start cycling everywhere, trust me.
4. Time to catch up on reading
You know what’s awesome about public transportation? Not having to focus on the road! Bring your favourite book along for the ride and drift away in its post-apocalyptic steampunk setting if you want to. Or you could read up on your favourite personal finance blogs like I do.
Heck, I can even bring my trusty old Game Boy and enjoy some Super Mario Bros. on-the-go! What’s not to love about that? The beauty of busses and trains is that you are able to convert otherwise lost time into a productive or fun moment. Win-win.
5. Savings, tons of savings
Of course, as a personal finance blogger, I had to keep the best reason until last: savings. You have no idea how expensive car ownership is until you actually do the math. I’m saving at least €400 per month by not owning a car. That number is based on friends’ experiences and this online calculator for car ownership in Belgium. That’s 20% of my usual savings rate, whoa!
Say goodbye to taxes, insurance, rising gas prices, expensive maintenance and monthly interest payments for the less frugal ones among us. That’s lots of money and hassle saved just by dumping your car. How weird is it that you have to open up your wallet every ten minutes for a machine that is supposed to provide you with huge amounts of freedom?
When you consider that I make €12 an hour after taxes I’d have to slave away more than four days every single month for this so-called freedom. Let me tell you, I’d take the freedom of having €400 providing me with future passive income any day over a car. Would you do the same?
6. Bonus: public transport is an adventure
Honestly though, it’s not. Trains often run late. Busses get caught in traffic too. Missing your next train or being late for drinks just plain blows. As always, you win some, you lose some.
If lots of savings, better health, more time and overall increased happiness sound like things that you would like – let’s be honest, who doesn’t – then ditching your car is definitely for you. Walking, biking, taking the bus, or hopping on and off trains demand lifestyle changes, but they’re well worth it.
Don’t believe me?
Mr. Money Mustache, the father of badass frugality, is one of the biggest proponents of cycling. Just look at all the posts he’s written on proper bike use. Jason from Dividend Mantra, a proper frugalist according to what I’ve gathered from his articles, also went without a car for a long time while working at a car dealership. How crazy is that?
There you have it, five of the main reasons why I don’t own and most likely never will own a car. People are often baffled when I tell them that I don’t have a vehicle at my disposal, especially when they hear how much I make. To me it’s not just a question of money though, it’s the unnecessary hassle and a completely different lifestyle that draw me.
Having a car define my level of freedom like so many others around us do, makes no sense whatsoever to me. Contrary to what most people think it’s still quite easy to get around, either on your own or by using public transportation. The revitalizing feeling of cycling around town or in the great outdoors is something very few of us experience, yet is vastly superior to being stuck in yet another traffic jam.
How about you? Do you own a car or have you ever thought about living car-free? If owning a vehicle cost 20% of your monthly income would you still keep it around?
I hear ya. Cars can be a money pit and I those bills are really frustrating. Unfortunately, I live on the other side of town (but atleast my wife can walk to work…so thats re-assuring) and a public commute would take too much time from my day. Also the fact that the public transit isnt that great here. As much as I hate driving and being stuck in traffic, the time saved by driving instead of taking public transit is worth it.
Thanks for sharing
Living in ATL was miserable from a traffic perspective. Now I live in a city where I can take the train to work. Reading on the train has been so relaxing! I forgot how much I loved to read.
Reading on the train is one of my favourite things about using public transportation. My commute everyday provides me time to catch up on blogs and news, which is just great.
Glad to have you on board with taking the train!
Too bad your public transport isn’t all that great. Once you get used to getting around by bike and train, you’ll want nothing else. The hassle of owning a car is just too big for me.
Obviously, everyone is different, so not owning a car is not for everyone. It definitely sounds like it’s worth it to you to drive to work, so go for it!
Great reasons to ditch the car! In America cars can be so cheap and it’s hard to completely ditch them unless you live in major city like SF or NYC. I do look forward to the day I no longer need to drive! Currently I ride my bike about 2x a week to work (9 miles each way). For my wife and I to drive, our combined car expenses are only about $100/month in gas and $80/month insurance. Costs are kept low since both our cars are old and her commute is even shorter than mine. Unfortunately there are no safe bike paths for her! However, when we leave the states, we will be leaving our cars as well!
It’s great to hear you’d like to get rid of your card and are already biking to work two times every week! Your monthly expenses don’t seem to be high at all, especially when compared to how much it would cost me to own my own car.
Someday soon I hope to read you were able to leave your cars behind.
Thanks for sharing,
Good stuff! I’m with you 100%.
I don’t mind driving so much, but cars themselves are just such a drain on wealth. I loved taking the bus around town for $1.25 and being able to just relax. Sure, it wasn’t as fast as driving myself somewhere. And sometimes waiting for the bus isn’t all that fun. But these are really very minor headaches in the grand scheme of things.
I hope to one day revisit the car-free lifestyle. It’s not easy here in the US outside of a few major metro centers, but I did it for years in a fairly small city here in Southwest Florida. I wish we were more like Europe in our public transportation infrastructure, but it’s just not to be. In the meanwhile, I’m driving around a used Toyota that I got a great deal on. But I do really hope to one day be able to live without a car again. We’ll see.
Thanks for the mention!
You’re absolutely right about the downsides of public transport being just very minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things. I’ll take a longer drive by bus or train over a car ride anyday of the week simply because I can be doing stuff on the bus/train.
I always thought it funny that someone working in a luxury car dealership didn’t own a car. Hopefully you find a way to make a car-free lifestyle work again for you soon. And if that doesn’t work out in the US, you can always move to Europe! Great infrastructure indeed.
Thanks for stopping by and best wishes,
Great list here. I agree with every point here. I especially agree with point 3, there’s something quite fantastic about being outside on a bike, especially when you’re flying down a hill. I feel like a kid again!
I sold my car in April, after I went through lent without a car. I realised that I didn’t need one so I could sell it, invest the money, and then make a huge saving each month. I have’t looked back since!
I’m a MASSIVE fan of cycling!
Glad to hear you agree!
And congrats on taking the big step and leaving your car behind. Most people can’t even imagine going about their days without their little motorized friend. It takes a special mind-set to even consider doing everything on foot, by bike or train!
Good argument NMW but as someone who’s driven and owned a car since I was 23, the only point I agree with is point 4!
I don’t mind paying for the freedom and convenience that my car gives me.
My office is over 14 miles away, so I can’t cycle there. I do often sit in traffic jams but spend this time reflecting, thinking and listening to my favourite music. To me, the travelling is part of the ‘work thing’, I just get on with it. I would much rather be in a traffic jam than fighting my way trying to get a space on crowded public transport or stood waiting in the perpetual Manchester rain waiting!
A public transport (tram) season ticket costs nearly double my petrol costs and that doesn’t include taxi costs to get to the tram station if I didn’t have a car. If I resorted to a cheaper form of public transport (bus), it’s a near 2 hour trip (one way) – no thanks!
True, in the days when I was stupid with my money, my car and its related costs added to my debts.
But I can’t live without my own transport (especially living where I do) and despite paying for the privilege, I find that I can still save comfortably so it isn’t so bad.
When my car loan is paid off next year, it will free up some money to save and invest.
Anyway, just wondered – what happens when you go on a date – pick her up on your bike> 😉
Weenie, i had bike dates before. Middle of the spring when the flowers are blooming or fall when the leaves are turning. A nice ride up a small hill. A bottle of wine and panic basket while you watch the colors. What woman can resist a man like that XD
Right on, BDI! 😀
Thanks for sharing your perspective! It shows that not owning a car is not for everyone. Your office being over 14 miles away (although I sometimes cycle 30km to work) and especially public transport being so expensive would make it hard for me too.
As long as you’re not being stupid and throwing tons of money into a quickly depreciating asset like a car, you’ll be fine, just like you said. I bet the last car loan payment can’t come quick enough, right? 😉
Haha, I had to laugh really hard at your question, but just like the BDI I’d just pick her up on my bike. 🙂 Or we could meet somewhere without me picking her up at home. Since I basically live in a university city and with hardly any students or recently graduated folks owning a car, it’s not that weird though. Maybe the most important point: I don’t have very many dates!
I agree with you NMW. If I lived in Europe or somewhere close to my work place, I would just bike to work. I would probably get more numbers showing off my nice legs….
But sadly I drive across states and over 50 miles a day. The only way I save money is by buying Mazdas. They’re a bit pricey on the sedan side but they have better mpg and lower maintenance than anything I’ve ever owned. (the new ones. Not the ford made ones. those are EPA violating death traps)
Hey, good job my car is a Mazda!
Awesome reason to bike to work, just to show off your legs! 🙂
Too bad you live so far away from your workplace though. Isn’t there a way to reduce your commute? Have you ever considered moving to be able to get rid of your car?
I’m glad you at least went for a sensible car and not like one of those typical American gas-guzzling trucks.
We’ve considered moving to a smaller home in a neighbourhood in the city that’s walkable and bikable and dropping the car. But the houses (and rents) are so much higher than what we’d spend on our car costs.
My husband commutes in by bus every day, so at least we can be a one car family.
Oh, and you forgot to mention how incredibly annoying upkeep can be!
If you’re trying to get rid of your car purely for financial reasons it of course doesn’t make any sense to spend more on rent or mortgage payments than car upkeep. To me, though, not having a car is about more than just the financial aspect. I’d actually gladly pay more rent to be able to ditch my car.
I hear you with the upkeep! Although I’ve never owned my own car, just seeing my parents and friends go through the same hassle every year turned me off.
Been reading your blog for a while now and I must say your take on cars (and other things) is spot on, sadly it does not work for my job. My prior job I was able to take a train / Metro to work, but now I’ve moved away from a station with my wife, plus my job has me traveling locally. Some weeks I might spend 2 days at one job and the other days elsewhere. On top of that I have to be flexible if something comes up at my job and head to a site.
However, if you can pull off not having a car or at the least not driving to and from work daily, then you really are coming out ahead. The time is really better spent doing what you like, and I think it keeps you mentally fresher and happier. There is nothing like some road-rage to screw with a good day or to add stress to make you grow old faster.
My city, Washington DC, used to be in the tops for bad traffic, and it still really sucks. I live less than 15 miles from my office and it can take me an over hour to get there if I go the wrong way.
Keep up the good work,
Thank you for the kind words!
Over an hour for just 15 miles sounds like a pretty typical day for most Belgian commuters! I can’t imagine going through that every single day, it would drive me completely mad. I’m glad you seem to be able to put things into perspective.
Living in a large city with good train, bus or metro connections is paramount to completely living car free, just like you said. That’s why I actually looked for a job and home that would allow me to use public transportation or my bike!
PS: are you a blogger yourself, because I can’t seem to find your website online? 🙂
I’d love not need to own a car… unfortunately North America is built/developed with car in mind, so it’s a little bit more difficult to get around without a car.
In what I’ve seen of Canada and the US it does seem like everything is geared towards car usage, which must really suck if you’re trying to get around without it.
Here in Belgium there’s a lot of attention for bicycle lanes and access to public transportation. The area I live in even has a law that states everyone has to be able to get to a bus stop within 1km of his home. Of course it helps when the state also runs the only bus company! 🙂
Still going to have my corvette one of these days haha. That’s priceless.
Wouldn’t mind a sports car either, Henry! But I don’t think that’s a good idea considering my plan to reach financial independence soon rather than later. 🙂
Fortunately, I work for the ministry of transportation and I get to ride the public transit for free. : )
However, public transit isn’t very luxurious and has its own problems. Overcrowding, short turns, delays, traffic, crazy people, unsanitary and etc…
Free transportation sounds awesome! I’ve had free train rides for most of my youth, but now I can only travel for free to and from work. Still beats being stuck in an expensive car though.
I’ve never hear anyone complain about unsanitary conditions on public transport! That would put me off using the bus or train too though. Crazy people just make things more interesting. 😉
I’m Belgian too and I from next september I’ll have a company car, because I have to visit clients as an auditor. It’s not for free as well (I still pay taxes on the car), but having no insurance/fuel costs etc is good. The only thing that’ll bother me is the traffic jams on the way to Brussels…
And bein able to drive this car in my free time as well, sure sounds like fun! No need to buy train tickets to go to the seaside/Amsterdam/south of Belgium anymore. I can just drive for free 🙂
Nice another Belgian joining the community. This is going the right way 🙂
As a former company-car-driver I must say it is indeed “hassle free” but I would argument against the fact it is free driving. You pay some taxes on it but also don’t forget it is probably part of your total salary package which means you’ll probably earn less than you would elsewhere without the car. This was certainly the case for me.
Awesome to meet other Belgians going through financial independence blogs, right? I’ve seen quite the pick-up in visits from Belgium lately!
The first thing that came to mind was also the “free” part of Willie’s argumentation. Nothing is ever truly free. 🙂
Hope you’re doing OK over there,
Glad to hear from another Belgian, welcome!
Sounds like you work as an auditor/consultant for one of the Big Four! 😉 I can imagine needing a car for such a job, but that would be one of the reasons for me to look for another job. The traffic to Brussels is insane!
Are you absolutely sure your car is completely free? Like FRD below it should be part of your payment package, which then reduces your cash take home pay. I’d rather have the cash than the car, but that’s just me.
How do you feel about the current debate to do away with the fiscal advantages of company-owned cars for employees?
Thanks for stopping by and hope to hear from you again,
I cannot imagine not having a car, but I get all your points. I live in Japan and rely on train system to get to places more than 10 miles away from my home. It is convenient and I enjoy just watching this amazing culture unfold in front of my eyes.
Thanks for stopping by!
Car ownership is a very personal thing and very dependent on your specific situation, so I don’t blame you for needing a car. Living in Japan sounds awesome, though! I’ve heard the train system is pretty great over there.
These are all great reasons to be car-less! I’ve thought about it before, as car troubles are a pain to deal with – not to mention traffic. I’ve never known anyone without a car, though. Unless we moved into the city, we wouldn’t be able to do it. There’s not enough adequate public transportation outside of it. (My fiancé doesn’t work in the city, so that would be tough.)
Living in or close to a city is paramount to leaving your car behind. If you live in the country-side most things are too far away to reach by bike. Train and bus services are also more likely to be spotty.
Maybe try to reduce your car usage to a minimum? 🙂
Wow, I was just thinking about this during my early morning commute to work!
Every single point there is a reflection of what I have in my head. The best part of taking public transportation is the savings, health, and time for reading (I spend 1 hour reading every day on the train).
Bonus point: you get to see what happens around you, nature, the behavior and lives of others. It can’t get anymore interesting than that. Sitting in a ‘metal cube on wheels’ every day steals these hidden gems from us.
Great minds think alike, buddy!
Just like you, I spend about one hour on the train every day. Lots of time to read the newspaper, my favourite blogs or even stare outside the window while thinking something over. By taking the train, I also get to stretch my legs on the way to the station, which is great after a long day at work.
Great post! I’d be doing the same if I were in a more condensed area I’d do without a car as well. However, I love having a car, especially since I drive a hybrid and get the same mileage I used to get on my moto. The great thing is that I live within walking distance to a market, drugstore, restaurants, etc. So I walk and plan to ride my bike to stores as well. I like my set up and I think this is key. If you have a car and hate the hassle, then somethings wrong. Conversely, if you take the bus and hate it, then again, something is wrong and needs to changed. Cheers!
Great reply. It’s about what works best for you. If you absolutely hate taking the bus, then don’t do it if you’re ready to foot the bill for your own car and gas.
Pretty cool that you go to the market and stores on foot or by bike even though you have a car at your disposal. Not many people would do that these days, just for the sake of ‘convenience’.
Well, you’re definitely right about the better for your health part for me. I usually walk along the bus route to work and sometimes I walk for 50 minutes and get to work before the bus even comes! I guess that’s healthier for me to get a good walk in, but it’s annoying when you actually want to be lazy and catch the bus… But on those days I also save $2 because I didn’t have to pay for the bus either… so there’s that.
Amazing that you walk 50 minutes to work! Don’t think many people can say that.
Health is a big part of the equation for me to. Not only does it get my heart going to power walk home, it also lightens my mood and releases stress after a long day at the office.
I was cars free during one of my semesters in school.
You know I just feel like it helps you to get to know your area better. But the also to me it makes me realize how close everything actually is. Even if it takes 30 min by bike I feel its closer then when I drive
Weird how walking and biking can completely change your perception of distance and location, right?
When people tell me I’m nuts to bike 10km to a store somewhere, I always tell them it’s only 10km! I can run that distance in less than an hour.
Thanks for stopping by,
We try to use bikes and public transport as much as possible to save costs but there’s no way we can live withour our car. I live in a smaller town in Belgium and a car is a big time saver, it allows you to transport large/heavy items and enables you to easily get to places that aren’t reachable with public transport.
In a city like Antwerp it’s probably different but my experience with public transport is that it’s pretty awful 😛
Living outside a larger city in Belgium makes it almost impossible to go without a car, that’s true. The flipside of living in a small town is that housing is often cheaper, so the trade-off of having to need a car equals out in the end.
I have no idea how often you have to haul large things around, but it’s not that often for me! 🙂 In that case I’d just rent a van for a day.
Public transport is often much better than people make it out to be, but it can be frustrating sometimes. Like I said, you win some, you lose some.
I wished the U.S. had as good a public transportation system as Europe does. I was thinking about your #4 option before I got to it lol. Great chance to catch up on all the investing blogs of the community.
I’ll make do with my 1998 car with 190,000 miles. Still have to deal with it but at least its paid for.
Public transportation is quite excellent where I live, not too expensive either. It’s one of the major reasons why I can afford to live without a car. Biking everywhere is fun, but not if you have to travel larger distances.
A 1998 car should be considered extremely frugal though! Four more years and your 190,000 miles monster would be considered a classic in Belgium (reduced taxes, yay)! 🙂
I don’t own a car and I won’t need one in the close future. I go to work with the train, and if they strike I just work at home. I live in a pretty large city so everything is in walking distance or cycling distance.
Oh if you still look for a Belgian dividend stock take a look at Ackermans & Van Haaren. It went public in 1984 and it never lowered it dividend and it has performed better then the bel20.
We’re doing exactly the same! Taking the train to work and trying to work from home as much as possible. With the recent strikes I’ve been home more often than at work, but that’s another story. 🙂
Thanks for the advice. I’ve been looking into Ackermans for some time now! Still undecided on when to pull the trigger, but it shouldn’t be too long now.
I should cycle to work (they have a shower) but I don’t. Guess I am just lazy and enjoy having a car too much. They are a big drain on money. We will probably go down to 1 car when my son steals mine when he leaves for college.
You lazy bastard! 😉
Definitely reconsider cycling to work if that’s a possibility. Maybe try it for a week and see how you like it?
That’s awesome you don’t own or need a car! I totally agree with you on public transport – I just love having that time to read a book or catch up on things, where I have my ‘own’ time (between work and family). I don’t think we could get by without a car though – if I was alone, I probably could, but it would never work for my wife and little girl. Everything’s pretty spread out here in Melbourne, Australia as well, and the public transport is fairly average, so unless you’re a very keen cyclist, a car comes in very handy, especially living out of the city!
If everything is as far apart as you say and you have children to take care of, I definitely understand needing a car. I’d love to bike around Melbourne, though! 🙂
What I don’t understand is how these days couples need two cars, one for her and one for him. I often wonder if they both really need one at the same time or if it’s just a way to avoid familiy planning. Where do you stand on that?
I’m definitely in the one car camp! It works very well for us, given that I take public transport to work, but even still I don’t see the point of spending thousands and thousands of extra dollars on another car just to potentially prevent a handful of potential inconveniences.
We do have a car (the 18-year-old Frugalwoods-mobile), which mostly gets used for my short commute to work (Mr. FW is a better person than me and he bikes to work 🙂 ). We walk or bike just about everywhere else and sometimes take public transit. The car is primarily useful for getting out to the mountains to hike! We were car-less for a number of years and it was a bummer not being able to hike, so it’s worth it for that alone for us.
There’s only one car that sounds better than the Frugalwoods-mobile and that’s the Bat-mobile! Awesome name! 😀
If the main reason for owning a car is a hobby, then definitely go for it. You guys are so frugal that owning a car for a hobby won’t break the bank. And you walk and cycle everywhere anyway, so.
Thanks for stopping by again,
I’m totally agreeing with your post.
And it’s so incredible as I was (and still am) a car lover since my father and grandfather were car dealers. I was raised in the mindset that having a car is a must. Like you don’t question it. You just buy and own one.
Back then when we arrived in Switzerland some years ago, we were having two cars. The best of the best was when I was able to acquire my first V6 powered engine!
Then I got into budgeting, early retirement, YNAB, Mr. Money Mustache and all of a sudden, things changed dramatically!
We sold one of our car – something *impossible* years ago! Like, you imagine, having to share a vehicle within an household, what a tradeoff in one’s life!!!
And one day, I sold my V6 car to buy…..a Toyota Prius from 2006 with 100’000kms!!! You would have told me that when I was younger, I would have laugh until death 😉
Anyway, fast forward to 2015: we are now both having a bike with which we go to work.
I’m a pro public transport. Even more since I live in Switzerland where you get newspaper headlines reporting that a train was arriving late by more than 3 min in Lausanne 😉 These guys are so accurate that it’s an extreme pleasure to use this mean of transportation!
And as you said, I just can’t think of using any other transport mean nowadays for the productivity boost it brings! Or better said, for the not-loose-your-time and focus it brings. I’ve achieve so many things since I ride trains! From web development to Mr. Money Mustache all blog posts reading 😉
Happy biking to you in 2015!!!
Due to our family being in France, we still have one car.
Hopefully somewhen we can live car-free thanks to some better car options like https://www.mobility.ch/en/private-customers/# for long-week-end rentals and cross-borders possibilities!
Awesome that you completely changed your mind-set and ditched the V6 for an energy-efficient electric car! I can imagine how difficult that must have been with everyone around you shouting the opposite.
When I was in Switzerland a couple of months ago I was really impressed by how timely the public transportation works over there. You should never ever come to Belgium! 😉 Many trains, especially during rush hour, are too late, so it’s not always a comfortable ride home if you need to catch multiple trains home.
Reading and generally doing stuff on the way to work is the biggest advantage to taking the train instead of driving by car. Yes, you’ll have to walk a bit more (healthy) and it might take some more time, but at least you won’t be stuck behind a wheel doing nothing.
Thanks for sharing your story! It really shows that challenging your beliefs can make a big difference.
Best wishes and happy public transport,