Public transport and your own two feet – This is how Luciana lives a car-free life

By Whim • May 19, 2022

The first and last mile problem is a hot topic in the mobility-as-a-service circles. In cities that offer e-scooter and citybike services, two wheels have been an excellent solution in tackling the first and last leg of the trip, having helped reduce the use of private cars and getting more people on public transport. For Luciana, public transport has long been the answer to a life without a car and combining it with micromobility options has made it even easier.

“In 2015 I moved away from Brazil to go to San Francisco, then New York, then Barcelona. I got rid of my car when I left, and when I moved back to Brazil in 2020 I never bought a new one.”

Now it’s been seven years since she gave up her car, and everyday life goes on without a hitch. She often walks wherever she needs to go and for longer trips she rents a car or borrows one from family or a friend. She enjoys living in a small city outside São Paolo where her office is, but sometimes during the occasional trip she takes to the office she wonders if buying a car would make her life easier.

“I always come back to how expensive it is and how it is not worth it in the end. I do very well with what I have.”

And often using public transport is much more convenient than driving a car in a traffic jam, finding a parking spot, paying for the parking and then driving back home in the evening. She used to have a bike when living in San Francisco, but hasn’t bought one now that she is back in Brazil.

“I’m a bit too scared to cycle in São Paolo, to be honest. San Francisco had very good bike lanes, and I even tried e-scooters from time to time. But I much prefer to walk. If I need to rent a car or take a taxi, I can see them and all the other options very easily from an app on my phone.”

Different MaaS solutions have helped reduce the use of private cars by making multimodal trips easier, but they have also brought the sustainability aspect into the discussion. When you have everything available under one app, it is much easier to see the environmentally sounder options but also to pick up a shared car or a taxi when you need to instead of having one of your own.

Luciana’s understanding of sustainability has expanded over time, and living in other countries has introduced her to the many ways we can help the environment, lower emissions, and make the air more breathable. 

“The city I live in has lots of trees and greenery and it makes such a difference! It’s just better for people.”

For Luciana, sustainability is also about the small things, recycling and being conscious of one’s choices.

“I don’t like to own stuff. I lived for years in different countries with just two suitcases, and I’ve never been happier. I try to buy only what I can consume and make sure to donate what I don’t need anymore.”