1) high speed of transportation
2) low cost of use
3) isolation from the general public while traveling
I own three cars all of witch cost under 3k to buy. I have no car payment and all get over 25mpg ( not so good these days ) I live about 2 miles from work. If I do drive to work I go weeks without filling up. But I also ride my bike. I don't own and drive cars just to get to work, its a passion of mine, I love to drive. You won't see me get rid of my cars or abandon the hobby but I will use transit when it is available. I can still enjoy my car but not every morning, no big deal.
I already take the train now driving to the station. You would have to take my legs before I would ever consider taking the bus either to the train or downtown
I am more and more considering driving to work though as it is 45 mins each way driving go the train or 25 driving straight to work, but parking is $23/day
When the cost to own a car (gas, insurance, registration, maintenance) exceeds 25% of my income I will be forced to take the bus. Until then, public transit will be something I rely on when visiting other larger cities, but in a place like Reno, NV where everything is spread out and transit consists of inconvenient bus routes, you really HAVE to own a car to really get around in any sort of timely manner. Now in 10 years when we are supposed to have a light rail system in place I might change my mind, but as it stands now, I'd probably rather drive a scooter than take the bus.
(well-planned) Light rail/trains/subways
Last edited by BLK9GEN; 10-06-2012 at 09:21 AM.
Cost and income. My wife was laid off for a while and we were forced to retire one car to the garage and I took the bus downtown. Took about as long as driving downtown and was ultimately cheaper than gas, wear & tear and paying for parking. She's working now, but we still share 1 car; if the bussing system were a bit better we might take a hard look at going carless. She and I now work in differing suburbs, both close to where we live, but to take the bus I spend nearly two hours catching transfers.
It's not the car that gets replaced, it's trips.
I don't drive to the grocery store any more. The store decided to remodel, but there wasn't room on their lot, so they moved quite a bit closer to my house. Now it takes the same time to walk as to drive (because I'd have to park), and there is no point in bringing a lot of groceries home because it's a lot cheaper to let the store (open 24 hours) keep them and I just get what I need when I need it.
My town isn't really suburban, nor is it a city. There's an unused rail line that may get passenger service soon. Considering that the bus is so cheap that it's more cost just for the fuel for my Golf TDI, The train is going to be a sweet deal. No traffic and it goes most of the places I now drive.
I won't be getting rid of the car. It's mostly going to be for pleasure drives, though.
But I also do not go straight home after work and sometimes might end up in another state, which is a big deal when you are starting from the middle of Texas.
I like to drive.
20K+ miles a year is nothing.
This in not Europe, Americans will always drive.
I could get to work using public transit if I had to, but it would entail the following:
5 minute walk to the bus stop
25 minute ride into town, to the transfer station
Switch to a different line
Ride 20 minutes to the stop closest to work
5 minute walk from bus stop to work
Total time = almost a full hour
Total distance traveled = around 20 miles
Cost = $5.25 (based on buying an unlimited ride monthly pass)
Or...I can drive my car.
Drive 7.9 miles (per Google maps)
Arrive at work
Total time = around 15 minutes
Cost = A little over $1 in gas, plus ??? when you factor in deprecation, wear and tear, etc.
Not a hard decision for me If I absolutely had to give up my car, I would rather get a bicycle or motorcycle.
I live in rural America. Our local bus system is weak and extremely limited. It would be impossible for us to do our work commute, school and soccer practice stuff using it. Impossible.
We did switch from our beloved but gas guzzling truck to the Prius in Dec. '12 though.
With our current setup, even $10/gal. would be manageable. We set ourselves up for rising fuel costs as best as we could given our local and needs.
Better bike and PT infrastructure. But I suppose thats a but of a "chicken vs. egg" scenario. Ive been using PT fairly regularly since I live downtown, plus its nice my partner gets free bus passes through his work. For longer trips though (like to Provo or Ogden), thats when ill choose the car every time.
I've put <41k miles on my Mazda since July '07 and that includes two trips to Central WA, a few trips to Central OR, once to Vancouver, BC and several trips to Seattle. I don't use my car that much anymore and only as needed but I can't stand Trimet out here and wouldn't rely on them.
I have cycled to work on occasion but it's not that appealing on either end of a 12hr shift (non desk job).
It wouldn't take much. I live in a big city, but where I live, there is NO METRO. The bus system in this part of town is sub par as well. In highschool, if I walked home, it would take me about an hour. If I took the bus it would take about an hour as well. The bus was thus only taken when there was a severe snow or rain storm.
There is a train that brings you to the center of the city, but that is about a 45 minute walk from my house. A lot of my friends take this, but they take their cars to the train station. So a car is still needed.
Moral of the story? If I had decent public transportation available to me, I would not own a car right now. I would maybe own something fun that I could drive occasionally (Ill be honest, I love driving too much to give it up outright) but the cost of gas, parking, insurance, etc is really getting to me and all of us.
If I lived in the center of the city and also worked there, I wouldn't have a car. Or if I did have a car it would be a complete POS to be used for ski and bicycling trips.
But unfortunately even in Philadelphia, the public transit just isn't good enough. I just got back from touring Germany and holy crap, its so cheap and easy to use the public transit that there really is no reason to own a car. And many people in the cities don't.... its evident in the air quality. I never realized just how much the city smelled like car exhaust until I got off the airplane yesterday. Didn't get that at all in downtown Munich, Zurich, Frankfurt, etc.
'12 Trek X-caliber // '11 Cervélo R3
2010 VW GTI
I spend roughly $8,000 on fuel a year currently ... I think the average price for a gallon of gas would have to rise from $3.80ish (what I'm paying now) to over $16.00/gallon (quadrupling) in order to force me out of driving. Even then, I'd probably just move closer to work rather than give up my car.
Not that it's your fault, but that is the way we've been developing suburbia. If you had a small corner market within a couple blocks of your home, it would be a part of the lifestyle. You could buy fresh food daily or every other day, and not have to live the big box/frozen food lifestyle.
It's ironic that we have to live like pioneers at the edge of civilization with our monthly treks to town for goods.
I keep nothing in my fridge but a few condiments and fluids. I don't use my microwave. I go to the market daily. I cook all meals from scratch or near to, but never with frozen food - always fresh meats, veggies, fruits, etc.. But my market is 2 miles away - just far enough to mean I have to drive. A scooter or even bicycle would be ideal, but the risk at this point is pretty high. The streets have 55mph speed limits, and every time I drive, I see cars weaving into the occasional bike lanes.
Public transportation here is not very robust, either. One bus, every 1-3 hours, and it doesn't go to that shopping center with the supermarket???
Maybe $8 /gallon gas will make us re-think this ill strategy of putting up miles of walled boulevards and forcing us into the big box culture.
Not an option for me.. What is generally a 25 minute drive would be an hour to 1.5 hour commute via bus / train.... so definitely not an option for me.
Besides the fact that our public transit systems basically suck in Toronto, I also can't stomach having to wait around, and having to deal with people. Lastly, my job requires me to be all over the place on a moments notice, so I'm a car guy until they take my license away.
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