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I don’t have a car, I don’t need a car

October 21, 2011

So, why, after all these years of living in Finland do I not drive a car?

Well, I have licence and we have a family car. The Mr. drives it 98% of the time. It is a rare occasion indeed when I demand to have the car to go about my business. I am known as the “bus goddess” in my house because I can tell you how to get just about anywhere by public transport in the Helsinki area. You can also consult HSL’s handy Journey Planner.

I take the bus to work and I take my little one on the bus to go to the library and other places. There is good motivation for taking public transportation. The system in the capital area has developed over the last years and while it may take some time, you can get just about anywhere by public transport. You can buy a monthly ticket for unlimited city-internal trips (in Espoo this costs about EUR 43 – less than $60 CAD) and in the Helsinki capital region (four municipalities – Helsinki, Espoo, Kauniainen and Vantaa) for EUR 90 (about $120 CAD) a month, which entitles you to unlimited travel in all four municipalities.

Compare this to how much you might spend on gas per month. These days we are paying in the region of EUR 1,54 / L of gas, over $2.05 CAD a litre. It adds up, especially if you have to drive every day. Then think about servicing, insurance and unexpected expenses. We are a one-car family by choice – my choice, and we manage quite well. In fact I live my life like I don’t have a car. I never count on being able to have access to it. So in truth, I don’t need a car, but it’s nice to have one once in awhile. I often wonder how families can afford to have two cars. I know we certainly wouldn’t be able to. We have a decent middle class income, but not enough to drive two cars on a daily basis.

The other great thing about public transit in the capital area is parents with kids in carriages and strollers can travel for free. Yes, that’s right – free. That is definitely one way to get moms with small kids out of the house once in awhile – it does the mind and body good! I can say when my little one was a baby, I used the bus a lot, for the simple fact it was free.

We’re also a one-car house for environmental reasons. It’s a good choice to leave a smaller foot print behind and I definitely believe we have a responsibility to try and consume less. I also have a rule for travel on public transit – always have something to read. The trip is always a little smoother after that. 🙂

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Humphrey van Samson permalink
    October 24, 2011 7:34 pm

    È muito bom saber que no capital de vocês viajar de graça com crianças no carinho é possível.Vou escrever sobre isso no meu blog.
    Faz uma visita :

  2. Humphrey van Samson permalink
    October 24, 2011 7:39 pm

    Quero também isso no brasil.

  3. November 23, 2011 1:32 pm

    btw i 100% agree with you. after moving here and settled about 4-5month here i felt more healthier than before because i don’t have a car and walk everywhere. and it’s more nicer also because you don’t spend money too much! LOL :p

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