If you're thinking about going carless in America by giving up your wheels, you probably already know what a huge step it is. Most of the US is still a car-oriented society, so it feels like a pretty big deviation from the norm to live without one. But here are some compelling reasons why more and more people are choosing to give up their personal automobiles, and how you can make it work for you.
Reasons to Go Carless
There are a lot of compelling reasons to give up your car. If you're lucky enough to live in a city with good public transit, perhaps you don't need one anymore. Or maybe you've taken to working remotely from home and said good bye to that daily commute.
It could be that you're feeling a bit sedentary, and being dependent on your car is only contributing to that. Getting rid of your car would certainly force you to hoof it a bit more, and it would be greener too.
Then there's the hassle of owning a car. Between gas, parking, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation, it can be a big vampire on your bank account. And that cost is only going up, at the rate of about 2% per year.
Transportation Option 1: Under Your Own Power or the City's
So, if you sell or give away your car, how are you going to get around when you do need to go somewhere? If you live in a large municipality, you probably have some form of public transit. If that's the case, you need to investigate the cost of passes (and whether your work will cover them), get maps, and know what your options are.
You can also get to places under your own steam, sometimes in combination with public transportation. Walking is always an option, and biking may be as well. In Amsterdam, bicycling is actually outstripping automobile travel as the primary form of transportation.
Transportation Option 2: Using Someone Else's Vehicle
What do you do if it's not practical to bike, walk, or take the subway? Say, for example, you are carrying something heavy, the weather is too severe, or you're dressed up to go somewhere nice--what are your options?
If you're going out of town or going to be gone overnight, a rental car or car club vehicle might be your best bet. There are those ridesharing programs, but there are serious legal issues with them today. Can you really trust the ability of the driver, their insurance if you get in an accident, or the safety of their automobile?
A better option is using a taxi service. Rather than hailing a random cab on the street, you can set up a relationship with a service, so you always know the quality of the car and driver you're going to get. Taxi services these days have many great amenities:
With a taxi service like A New Day Radio Dispatch, Inc., you can ditch traffic stress and make better use of your time by reading or catching up on phone calls while you travel. And when you're out at night, you have no worries about driving tired or drinking and driving.
Giving up your car is gaining momentum in the US today. With so many reasons to say ta-ta to your jalopy and so many alternatives at your disposal, why not take that big step today?Share
26 February 2015
Many travelers face the same dilemma while on vacation -- is it better to rent a car or take taxis? I made some guidelines for myself to determine which transportation option to use during each vacation. First, I always rely on taxi-cabs in large cities, as I can walk many places and driving in heavy traffic is not for me. Rental cars are best for quieter locations. Second, I determine what is on my itinerary, if I have one at all. If I have a strict plan of where I need to go and when, then I take a cab. If I don't have a tight, planned-out schedule, then a rental car is more useful for driving around and checking out scenery. I created this blog to encourage others to stop stressing over which transportation option you choose and when. Make your own guidelines to make the choice easier.