Things i’ve learned from using public transportation

I lived in Cairo for over 32 years, never been in a public bus except one time for a 2 station trip as a kind of adventure when i wanted to try it with my friends. Public transportation in Egypt is not an option for a number of obvious reasons, the bad infrastructure, poor management, little to no maintenance, over crowded. This is why i’ve been driving cars since i was 18.

All of a sudden i came to Istanbul, a magnificent city with lovely people, fantastic food and phenomenal nature. The only two things everyone is complaining about is traffic and gas prices both are the highest in the world, Istanbul is officially more congested thank Moscow and gas prices are higher than Norway and cars are expensive. It would require a great deal of stupidity to drive a car here.

Here are a few life time changes that happened to me in the past 3 months:

1. I lost 5 kgs in the past 2 month without making a diet, i’ve now reached my ideal weight. When you use public transportation you get used to walking and becoming more active, i walk everyday at least 0.5–1.5 km between stations, sometime by chance and other times on purpose to enjoy the walk.

2. You have a better body balance and stronger muscles, and burn more calories just by standing in the bus. Standing an hour or two everyday will make you burn extra 80–200 calories. Holding to the bus handles and keeping balance makes your body in a better shape.

3. Effects do not apply to body only but your psychology too. It is less stressful than driving, you don’t worry about hitting the car, breaking a traffic light or even find a parking spot on a crowded day.

4. You get to see people and interact with them, thats socially good as well.

5. You experience great moments of happiness, for a car driver finding a parking spot is a glorious moment. For someone waiting for a bus, seeing the bus number you have waited for is a great moment. Not only this but the moment you arrive to your station too!

6. You learn collaboration, how to align your self and make space for other when the bus is full, helping elderly to pass and sit.

7. You learn to be a better planner, instead if sitting behind the steering wheel and pointing the GPS to your destination, you need to plan your route especially if it includes connected rides where you change your bus with another one or even a metro.

8. You save loads of money, especially if you are a solo traveler, its a big waste to hang around with you car with 4 empty seats everyday.

9. This is good for the environment.

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