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How many of you feel comfortable living without a car?

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posted on Oct, 1 2006 @ 11:09 PM
I was just knd of toying around with this in my mind and thought I'd throw it out there:

When I lived in Florida, I NEVER left my home without my car or otherwise moterized transportation at any time of the day. But now living in a city that doesn't sleep and providies public transportation everywhere, I now think of owning a car as a luxury item I simply don't need.

Has anyone else around here experienced this social shift?

[edit on 10/1/2006 by djohnsto77]

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 12:25 AM
Yes. Absolutely.

I'm originally from Detroit. In Detroit, it was simply inconceivable to live without an automobile. The City of Detroit, probably because of the influence of the Big Three Automakers, never developed public transportation beyond a pathetically poor bus system. One would literally have to wait hours for the bus that would either be late or that wouldn't come at all! It was an intolerable situation and one where owning a car was, well, a necessity.

When I lived in Manhattan briefly, I discovered a city with an abundance of public transportation; planes, trains, subways, busses and relatively inexpensive taxis. Getting around was easy. Ironically enough, having a car in Manhattan was a liability. There was simply no place to put it -- at least not cheaply.

Now I live in London, Ontario Canada. It's a city with about 300,000 people. I often go for days without climbing into my vehicle. The bus lines are well-placed and they keep their schedules (more or less) and it makes getting around convenient. Still, I live relatively close to the downtown core and I frequently get to where I want to go by simply walking. I would suppose, to answer your question, that -- living where I do now --I could easily give up my car. Frankly, it would be a lot healthier and certainly cheaper to do so.

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 12:35 AM
Well I honestly don't have alot of need for a vehicle either.

Everywhere I'd want tog o I can walk, or take the bus to, or the sound
transit train system.

I don't own a car, I of course intend to get one, but I mot likely wont
use it unless I'm going pretty far.

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 12:45 AM

Most of what I do could be done via VPN..
That would cut 250 miles per week of driving.
I could eliminate one car, and share the other with my wife.

But tell that to my boss.
so, for now, I drive to work, sit at my desk, and do everything from there!

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 01:23 AM
If you need just a bit of help, this should come in handy:

[Image links to full size version]

try to figure that one out

[edit on 10/2/2006 by djohnsto77]

[Mod Edit: Image size - Jak]

[edit on 2/10/06 by JAK]

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 02:14 AM
I've not been able to drive since Feb '93 for medical reasons. At first it was difficult - no, torture, now I rather enjoy not driving... transit isn't really an issue where I live... we have decent municipal and regional feeder systems but it could always be better and if they had a lick of sense they'd make it free and run it off gas taxes... who am I kidding... uh, yeah and Monkeys might...

With continent-wide road infrastuctue crumbling and in a constant state of disrepair/remedial reconstruction and packed 24/7/365 with more vehicles than one can imagine some sort of shift at least partially might make some sense for some folks.

I like bicycles for fair weather but refuse to ride on the road (it's just too mental), instead I use the sidewalks and road allowances and bike paths and pay close attention to pedestrians... and in a large metropolis if you can't get one of whatever you need in walking distance... perhaps change locale or have it delivered.

My significant other takes great delight in exercising the toys in the garage and shop and drives/rides everywhere. If we lived outside of an urban area you pretty much gotta have wheels... even to get to the transit sometimes. We both do a bunch VNC/VPN/Video back and forth to the office and have for years... very handy. I know folks who commute from a distance of just over 90 miles... they spend like almost a third of their waking hours driving... mostly in traffic, I could not do that. Most driving is exceedingly boring and attention/time consuming.

Can I live without cars? No. No way, no how. No cars - no Western Civilization. Cars, scoots, trucks... I love them all, everybody should have some... and a safe place to drive them... maybe just not use them so much and find a way to bind-out and fix the pollutants of incomplete combustion.

Nothin' quite like a nice drive, almost as good as a nice walk in a safe neighbourhood. Now a triple-digit ride on a good scooter on a closed circut...

Victor K.


[edit on 2-10-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 05:30 AM
When I lived in New Orleans for 22 years, I did not own a car. I did use my girlfriend's car when we went out together or I needed to go somewhere in a hurry, but for all those years, I mostly used used the bus and the streetcar to get around and for the most part it was sufficient.

Here in Albuquerque, the bus system is mostly for show. Efforts are being made to improve it with some success, but it is far too primitive to rely on for one's only transportation.

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 05:36 AM
May will be 2 years for me, no car. I don't have to pay 150.00 a month insurance, No registration, no 45.00 inspection, no ridiculous 3.00 a gal for gas, no more 400.00+ tuneups, no more tires. I just take car service or, bus or a train. Everything is right here for me locally. If I was in a suburban area though It would be quite harder to do. Being in Brooklyn makes it loads easier.


posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 05:49 AM
I guess it depends on a lot of factors.
For instance I have noticed in my travels to the US that shopping areas always seem to be built some distance away fromresidential areas, thereby forcing the use of cars to reach them (planners in league with the car/fuel industry?).
A long time ago I went several years without a car, walking to work which was 25 minutes each way, local shops were 10 minutes each way from my apartment and using public transport when needed. If I took vacation I would usually hire a car for a week and head for the hills.
Today I drive a 100 mile round trip to the office and could not do without the car as public transport would take me into London then out again and the cost would be prohibitive, as well as possibly adding 5 hours extra to my working day just travelling.
My car averages 50mpg so is fairly economical for the amount of miles I do on a daily basis.

If there were a reliable and cheap public transport system in place then maybe a lot of people would use it.
I also think that if a lot of companies staggered the start / finish times of staff this would ease the traffic problems morning and evening. Does everyone have to work 9 - 5?

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 09:18 AM
In New York City, most companies allow flexible time and people who live far away generally start early and leave early (like 8 - 4) whereas Manhattan residents generaly work later (like 10 - 6).

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 09:40 AM
Realistically I could work from home most days as I have a 10Mb Broadband connection to the office network and can access all the necessary UK/US systems I need on a daily basis. Unfortunately that won't fly with the management, although I do get to do so sometimes.
Covering EMEA and Asia Pacific regions (2 thirds of the world) I also get to vary the hours I work to suit myself so I don't get tied in to a 9-5 cycle.

I do miss the days where I worked so close to home though as the 50 mile journey early morning - leave home before 6AM - will take under 1 hour but the same trip home again can take up to 2 hours if I am not on my way by 4PM.

Maybe as network infrastructure changes a lot more people in office environments will benefit from home working and there will be less traffic as a result.
Even so, the public transport system still needs to be improved greatly to compete with private car use. Perhaps a return to a national service should be considered rather than everything in private hands trying to maximise profits. surely someone in government must realise that?

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 11:03 AM
I moved to Boston from a suburb a few months ago.

Before I moved I was paying around 160 a month for insurance, not to mention paying $3.00 a gallon while commuting back and forth across the state. I now pay $44.00 a month for an unlimited use subway pass. Owning a car now would be more of a hassle as there is nowhere to park it, and it would actually take longer to get to where you need to go due to traffic. I love the switch! Going out of the city isnt much of a problem either, as Massachusetts has a very reliable commuter rail system that runs all the way out to central mass, then from there you could get a bus. it's all fairly cheap too....much cheaper than the cost of gas.

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 11:38 AM
30 years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I didn't own a car and I took the streetcar and buses everywhere. It simpy was way too expensive to maintain a car. Now I'm living in the rugged, very rural mountains of TEnnessee in a very small town. I have to drive an hour to get to a decent grocery store, i.e. one that sells fresh vegetables, tofu and decent meat. We go about once every 2 weeks and stock up. But we absolutely must have a car for that trip.

Now I have a horse and plan to start riding him into town, about 2 miles each way, to buy things like milk or other essentials. And should civilization fall due to peak oil, I'll have my horse. He's sweet-tempered, I don't need to change his oil or pay $400 to have him fixed by a mechanic and he doesn't need $3 per gallon gasoline. So, that's how my husband and I are trying to keep the use of a car down and is our contribution to trying not to increase global warming.

Besides that, we both really hate driving.

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 11:51 AM
I don't have a car now and walk nearly everywhere I need to go or take the bus. Its too expensive to own a car. But to be realistic, I still miss it. It was nice to be able to get in and go when you wanted. Mind you I did't live in a really large city that had a lot of traffic. If the traffic was heavy or if the trip was very long I questioned using the car.
I realize I am better off without the car, but growing up with car=freedom is always hard to battle.

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:12 PM
Being forced to own a car is an infringement of personal liberty.

Of course if you like driving, that's great. But if you think cars are big smelly annoying expensive things, then it should be a simple matter of choice to not have one. People should feel they have this option. It seems many of you don't.

Forestlady, you're lucky you can ride your horse to get groceries. That is cool.

I'm lucky too, in that I live in a rural area but the grocery store is only a 20-minute walk away. I take a shortcut through the woods, so I almost never have to walk in the car-infested streets.

I can understand that most rural and suburban people don't have this option. They have large distances to cover in order to meet their needs. I don't understand why city dwellers need cars though, that is just weird to me.

I guess my point is, if you're like me and not owning a car is a huge priority for you, then finding the right place to live is important. It's certainly possible in small towns where everything is walking distance, or big cities with adequate public transportation. If you have the option of living somewhere where you can drive a horse and buggy, consider yourself very lucky indeed, and let me know so I can move there one day. :-)

Cars suck!!

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:20 PM
Yes - I gave up my last vehicle in 2001.

Sometimes I miss it. But most of my travel now involves other planes of consciousness.

Works for me.

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:39 PM
In oklahoma, the bus public transportation system just recently got "nationalized" to be used as school buses...
Public is still allowed to use them, with the kids... but makes for very weird situation...

going anywhere in OKC requires at least a 10 minute ride in a car, and neighborhood grocerys are unknown... (we call them 7-11's)

so if you need anything besides a big gulp, you are in need of a ride...

OKC is so stretched out, that a truly useful public trans system would be a waste...

But I just got a scooter w/80mpg so my fears of being stuck from high gas, are no more...YEAH!

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:40 PM
Well all my life since childhood we have cars, so I can not possible even think a world without them.

I guess that will be pass on to my children.

I live now in a small town, is not buses to where I live only in the bigger county just a few miles to my home and the city limits.

So a car is necessary no matter what.

My daughter goes to college away from home so, she without a car is unconceivable.

So yes we all have cars, is a necessity.

[edit on 3-10-2006 by marg6043]

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:54 PM
I personally have a love affair with the internal combustion engine and high performance, sporty, show off, look at me, modes of transportation.

But I hate being forced to drive them, because of inadequate public transportation.
I envy you folks that can get away with out a car but it is essential to own one here in the wide open spaces of the Rocky Mt. West. Sometimes I long for the simplicity of city dwelling; wow, that sounds strange!!

posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 01:49 PM
If los angeles had a more reliable public transportation system I wouldn't mind it at all. I actually live in the thick of the city and do tend to walk alot and of course if I'm going out for a night of drinking the average cab ride is around five to ten bucks but if I say needed to go from the city and into the valley relying on the buses in los angeles could turn a twenty minute car ride into an hour and a half treck. Sometimes shorter usually longer.

Los angeles is so spread out that a car is basically mandatory for survival. It's the lazy habits they people need to break.

I know people who will hop into their car and drive down the street to the store. Not blocks away not miles but the corner store just to pick up a can of this or package of that.

They don't walk a single block it doesn't even occur to them.

So the problem I would think in Los Angeles is that people are so used to spending time in their cars wether sitting on the 405 or sunset blvd traffic that walking isn't even considered.

For me though if we could really get the subways/trains running well and minimize the busses which are subject to the whims of traffic...basically we need a better system and I'd be the first to get rid of my car.


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