Energy Diet

Underdeveloped Transportation

For this week we decided to write about the category that is not going so well: Transportation. As mentioned in our first blog we aren’t regular users of the public transport and today we’ll detail why.

First of all, here in Costa Rica public transport is not as robust as in other countries. We have no metro, train (there are only two routes in whole country), or tram.

So that just leaves the buses, which have a wide area of coverage in the country, but the service is not always good in terms of vehicle quality, punctuality and variety of routes.

Some communities are one next to one another and there is no possible way to get access via bus without a stop in the center of the capital, and this situation makes for a lot more time on the course.

On the other hand, in our country we have problems with crime, which makes one think twice before walking to or from bus stops, especially if you are carrying work items like laptops and other valuables.

In our particular situation, Alberto works at his construction company and must carry helmet, boots, blueprints and construction materials. He also needs to visit several projects in one day…it’s quite complicated if you add in having to ride a bus.

Early this year he decided to buy a more efficient pickup truck with an actual average consumption of 11 km/lt (21 mpg).

What we did since we got married was moving quite close to our respective offices, which are fortunately located on the same side of the city.

Before that, we had to drive about 45 minutes each. Now take us 3 minutes (Michelle) and 5 minutes (Alberto). Sometimes we have tried carpooling among us, but our schedules are not compatible, so we do it only occasionally. On weekends it is a reality that we only use one vehicle.

In fact, in Costa Rica we have a weekly vehicle restriction zone so once a week you’ll have to keep your car parked at home. You can do carpooling without restriction but you will have to fully load car capacity (4 passengers minimum) so people don’t really use this option.

Unhappily what we do at home is that we switch cars as the restriction only applies at downtown San José and only Alberto needs to pass through every day.

On the other hand we give proper periodical maintenance to our vehicles. Now we try to have a proper driving behavior for saving fuel. We almost never use air conditioning or heating of the vehicle, as we live in a country with tropical climate, we haven´t extreme temperatures so it’s not usually necessary.

As you see, in our case the detachment to our cars is not so simple, however we have tried to do everything possible to mitigate the impact that this causes with other actions.