9 days ago, my wife and I sold one of our cars…which left me carless. We had been contemplating this change for a few months, and after many discussions about the consequences, we decided that it was totally worth it to go down to having only one car. Part of my inspiration came from green LA girl, who after many posts on her blog about it, finally gave up her car and has lived to tell about it. I work from home, so I do not need a car for commuting, and since we live in a walkable community, I can walk or bike most places I ever need to go. My wife commutes, so she has taken my Mini as her own car…which I am sure she does not mind!
I started working from home 6 months ago and realized that my car sat lonely in the garage about 95% of the time, which is not a very good use of our money. Making car payments on a car you don’t drive is kind of dumb, really, so we decided it was time to give one of them up. And so far, it has been OK. I have a bicycle, I have 2 feet with 2 pretty good pairs of sneakers, and I have a messenger bag to carry my stuff wherever I need to go. It is a very freeing feeling knowing that we only have one car to take care of now…it means one less car payment and one less car to insure.
I have gotten myself a bus pass for the local lines, and I have all the maps in case I need to go somewhere that I am not familiar with. I am also about to sign up with FlexCar so I can rent a car by the hour anytime I want one, for things like doctor’s appointments and the like.
Overall, it has been a good experience. There have been a few hiccups, like when I told a friend I could pick her up at the airport in the middle of the day and then realized a few hours later that I did not own a car. I had to let her know that I had forgotten I did not have a ride and she would have to figure something out. Another time I packed up my stuff and got ready to head out to the grocery store…and remembered I could not go anywhere that required carrying 6 canvas bags of food back to my house. But still, I am very happy about the economic and environmental impact our decision has had on us and our neighborhood….you see the world in a whole different way when you don’t whiz by it at 55 MPH!
technorati: carless, Los Angeles, public transportation