Avoiding the Stress of the Daily Commute


András Kárpáti

In the second part of our interview with András Kárpáti, the president of Hungary’s Future Mobility Alliance, the Budapest Business Journal looks for solutions to minimize the stress of commuting and improve the transportation experience.

BBJ: Mobility is no longer just about getting from point ‘A’ to ‘B;’ it’s about the experience itself. Why is this increasingly important, and how is the alliance working to improve the user experience of mobility solutions?

András Kárpáti: This September, we jointly organized the Stress-Free Mobility Week at the Hungarian Automobile Club. The primary aim of this series of events was to raise awareness among transport users that it is stressful for many people to leave home in the morning or drive home in the afternoon. It’s time-consuming to get the kids to school or extra lessons in the afternoon, to the gym, and on and on. We have to get to a specific place at a particular time. Nowadays, travel times vary enormously, given the mobility solutions available. Should we go by car? Or public transport? Or by micro-mobility? What would be the best? In our opinion, there is no single best solution; in fact, our primary goal is education. We want to make the different mobility solutions as widely known as possible.

BBJ: What are the public benefits of making these conscious choices in the long run?

AK: Efficiency and experiential transport are based on the principle of choosing the most appropriate solution for each route or part of it, even in combination with other means, at the given time and according to the needs of the individual. The choice will be best made when the knowledge of transport users is as broad as possible. In the longer term, this could also mean a reduction in the number of cars in inner city areas, which will benefit everyone, as those who can travel more efficiently by other means will be happier, and those who are forced to use four-wheels will reach their destination faster due to fewer cars. Yes, we believe that transport can be a great experience.

BBJ: Still, at the moment, transport is often a significant stress factor in people’s daily lives. How can the stress of commuting be minimized?

AK: Many people see transport as a “necessary evil,” but we can see it as a part of our lives that has the potential to be a positive experience. Some people don’t move to a suburban or conurbation area, for example, because they are afraid of the daily commute. Let’s face it: in some cases, they may even be right, unless we find the best means to do the job. We believe that transport and the mobility solutions that go with it relate to each other like a tailor-made suit and the person wearing it do. Not everyone looks good in a tailored suit, but it is a misconception that it can only be more expensive than a regular one.

BBJ: There must be a knock-on effect of making these choices, right?

AK: Our time, our stress, and our sense of comfort all affect our daily productivity and happiness. With well-planned and well-chosen transport solutions, nothing is impossible. Of course, there have been, are, and will be situations where we can only choose the right combination with trade-offs. Still, if you think about it, our days are about many of these choices, and if we prepare consciously and make good choices, the stress of transport can be eliminated from our lives for everyone in different ways. We can provide a number of good, practical examples to guide you and even offer advice.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of October 20, 2023.

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