Are High Gas Prices Changing the Way We Drive?

My friend Craig rides the bus to work every day. His family gets by with just one car. “Do you do it to save money?” I asked him recently.

“Well, owning just one car certainly does save money — car payments, gas, insurance, parking — and that's a major reason I do it,” he said. “But I also do it because it helps the environment, and because it gives me a chance to unwind before I get home.”

Cheap transportation seems to be on everyone's mind these days. High fuel prices and increased concern for the environment have spurred many of my friends and family to explore alternate methods of transportation. Even I have begun to look for ways to decrease my transportation costs — and I work from home!

Drive less, save more
Some people go even further than Craig to save money. When my friends Chris and Nicole visited Portland last month, they rented a vehicle to make the drive down from Seattle. “Don't you own a car?” I asked.

“Yes,” Nicole said. “Sort of. We own an old beater, but I only use it to ferry my daughter around town. The rest of the time, I do car-sharing with Zipcar. Chris buys a monthly bus pass and uses that to commute.”

It was difficult for me to believe that these many small expenses actually saved them any money. “Is all of that cost-effective?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” Nicole said. “It's a lot cheaper than owning and maintaining a new car.”

“Yes, it's cheaper,” seems to be a common response when I speak with people who have cut back on driving.

Our friends Mike and Rhonda were once a two-car family. They owned a Toyota Forerunner and a Toyota Camry. A few years ago, they moved closer to Portland, sold both vehicles, and replaced them with a new Toyota Prius. Mike now bikes to work most days, and Rhonda drives the Prius. Their primary motivation was a desire to “go green”, but I recently asked Mike if the switch had saved them any money. “Oh yeah,” he said. “A lot!”

Finding ways to save
If driving less can save so much money, why aren't more people aren't doing it? Actually, there are signs that maybe they're starting to. Here are some additional examples from my own life:

  • Two of Kris' co-workers have purchased “commuter cars”, old beaters with good gas mileage specifically for driving to and from work. I'm not sure how cost effective this is — buying an additional car instead of replacing an existing one? — but it's the strategy they've chosen to deal with rising fuel prices.
  • I've talked to several families who altered vacation plans this summer because of the high cost of fuel. My brother, Jeff, for example, stayed home while his wife and two children jetted to see her parents in Canada. “We couldn't justify the expense of another ticket,” he told me.
  • At the gym recently, two of the guys were talking about their next car purchases as they lifted weights. They both drive SUVs, but they plan to give them up. “I don't understand why anyone would buy anything but a Prius,” one of the guys said. “That's what I plan to buy” said the other.
  • My youngest brother, Tony, drives a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. He too has begun to consider alternative transportation. “Gas is so expensive,” he told me over dinner the other night. “Biking would save a lot of money. But it's 15 miles from my house to the office. That's an hour each way.” Instead, he's looking at scooters. “I did the math,” he said, “and commuting by scooter would pay for itself within a year. They save that much gas!”

Tony isn't the only one fascinated by scooters. There's strong demand for them around the United States. I've actually been considering one myself. Since I began working from home, I've realized that my crush on the Mini Cooper is impractical. Sure, I want one, but I don't drive as much as I used to. What's the sense in buying a $25,000 driveway decoration? Besides, most of my trips are local now. I haven't ruled out a Mini, but scooters (at $5,000 or less) are looking more attractive every day.

 

No town is an island
Sometimes it's difficult to know whether a trend in the Pacific Northwest is representative of the entire country. Portland, especially, can be sort of an island sometimes. (Bikes, for example, are huge here, something I forget until I visit other cities and don't see any on the road.) This time, however, it seems like maybe the move to alternative transportation is more wide-spread:

Are people in your city changing their habits to cope with rising fuel prices? Do you plan to make any changes? Are you walking to the store? Biking to work? Have you changed our travel plans? Or are things the same as always?

Scooter photo by paPisc.

More about...Transportation

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Odd Lot
Odd Lot
11 years ago

Hey JD, Love the article and I certainly hope that many people in this country are moving in the direction of driving less and choosing more efficient vehicles. One big problem I see is that there are just so many BIG vehicles on the road in the US. My wife is fascinated by the prius as well and wants one but she feels so safe and comfortable in her current SUV. We live in Dallas, TX so it’s the most common type of vehicle on the road. She’s worried that she won’t feel as secure in the prius and I… Read more »

Philip
Philip
11 years ago

Down here in Houston I am not so sure of how much effect it has had. I have considered trying to bike commute but that has to do with liking cycling and not due to gas prices. I have yet to see anyone in my office come in on a bike, and that is of about 3000 people. I actually live in a suburb of Houston, but still fairly close to my office. However, in my city there is NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION available. There are no busses or trains or subways at all, to be able to use one I… Read more »

Leslie
Leslie
11 years ago

It seems that people around here are making some changes. I live in the Raleigh, NC area and honestly, there is no real public transporation system here. There is a fairly skeletal bus system in Raleigh itself but, like most cities that have increase their population significantly in the last 20 years, the metro area is very spread out. The bus system is not an option for most people. Having said that though, I did read recently that ridership has increased something like 30% in the last year. There was an article in the paper the other day about how… Read more »

JimmyV
JimmyV
11 years ago

Fortunately, the housing bubble caused me to move within walking distance of work. I now hoof it for 8 minutes each way and put the extra cash into my 15 year mortgage. We haven’t parted with the extra car yet, but I am seriously considering it.

Sarah
Sarah
11 years ago

I live on a major bike lane in my community of Greeley, Colorado and have seen walking, scooter and bicycle traffic double this summer! I am fortunate to live a community where biking to work, the grocery store and just about everything you need is a reality. I feel for those who live in newer communities and have no choice but to jump in the car to meet all of their needs. Our family has gotten into the act as well. We have a trailer for our 9 month old that doubles as a grocery hauler. Quick trips (the must… Read more »

Austin
Austin
11 years ago

I’m in the market for a new vehicle. I drive a motorcycle for my commute and average close to 60 mpg. It’s great three seasons a year, but Michigan snow requires that I also own something with four wheels. So what’s my plan? I’m buying a Jeep. I’m a chronic used car shopper, always eyeing Craigslist and AutoTrader for good deals. I used to see small four-cylinder cars going for dirt cheap. Now, the prices on those cars have skyrocketed. I’m remembering a clapped-out 1996 Contour that was being offered at $4,000. Just two years ago, that same car would… Read more »

grimsaburger
grimsaburger
11 years ago

Last summer when our Volvo finally conked out, we simply didn’t replace it, and I bought a $300 hybrid bike on ebay. This is the point where we started making the most of our decision to live near downtown. My husband has a 45-minute commute, so he gets the car at least 5 days a week. But my “commute” is 2.5 miles one-way to and from campus. All of my doctors and the hair salon I use are within 1.5-2 miles. The longest regular ride I do is to my chiropractor, who is 4.2 miles away, and it’s a lovely… Read more »

Mayet
Mayet
11 years ago

hi! my husband is biking to work and I usually take the bus or walk to go someplace, but just recently we joined a trial membership(4months) for MOBILITY here in Genève-where in a member can get a car whenever he needs, and which is parked in different designated spot in the city . I think this is a better way for us having no garage nor parking space and besides we don’t use car that much.

brad
brad
11 years ago

I live in Montréal, which has a good public transit system and is one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America. Still, the vast majority of people (more than 70%) drive to work. That is changing now with higher gas prices. I heard a bike-shop owner on the radio last week saying that bike sales this year are through the roof, and all of the bike shops in town are overwhelmed with customers. The bike paths are full of commuters; I see it every morning on my daily ride. And use of the buses and Métro has increased dramatically… Read more »

Genie G.
Genie G.
11 years ago

What a great article! Thanks for all of the examples of money-saving tips related to vehicles.

I feel like there is a lot of power of knowledge in regards to these situations – planning ahead, locating gas stations, planning errands in a shortest-path sequence, etc. I live in Indianapolis, IN where the public transport isn’t particularly prominent (especially along my work commuet) and the availibility of public transportation will probably effect my internship search in the coming school year.

Liz
Liz
11 years ago

I live in a rural area of Northern Wisconsin. Our county seat has a population of 8,000 and it’s the largest town in a three county area. The next largest town of 30,000 is sixty miles away. Public transporation is unheard of here. Our summers are short – gardening zone 3. We generally have snow on the ground for five to seven months out of the year. Because of this, scooters and bikes have limited practical use. Also because of the snow, SUV’s are necessary. I get frustrated when people make blanket assumptions that anyone who drives an SUV is… Read more »

pll
pll
11 years ago

“Biking would save a lot of money. But it’s 15 miles from my house to the office. That’s an hour each way.” Wow, he makes it sound like an hour is a horrible commute! I’ve been “commuting” to the office by bike for 5 years now. During the winter I take the commuter train, which costs me $250/month for the pass. The great thing is I don’t have to drive no matter what the weather. But it’s an hour ride on a train with way too many people crammed in (and it’s gotten a lot more crowded lately). Then it’s… Read more »

tosajen
tosajen
11 years ago

We are very near Milwaukee, and I am also seeing fewer SUVs during commute time (higher proportion of cars) and more bicycles. I wouldn’t say that the high gas prices are changing our habits much — we like being able to walk and ride bikes places, so we chose where we live to enable that. My DH and I work from home. The kids are 2 blocks from school, we are 6 blocks from the library, and less than a mile from the closest major grocery store. All are walkable on sidewalks on tree-lined streets. If we want to go… Read more »

Kate
Kate
11 years ago

I have a Nissan XTerra, although I drive under 500 miles a month. After using the Edmonds SUV replacement calculator (http://edmunds.com/calculators/gas-guzzler.html), I realized it would take 27 years to make a Prius purchase effective (in my situation, YMMV literally). Plus, the calculator doesn’t take insurance or local taxes into account.

I also use Zipcar and walk most places.

Mary
Mary
11 years ago

Like some of the others, our public transportation system is terrible and limited and biking to work is pretty much a death trap. Changing vehicles right now would not save us any money, so we’ve made some much more minor changes. My husband and I carpool together about twice a week. We tried to make it more often, but found our schedules and work situations just didn’t allow for much more. We also shifted our working hours to be able to travel when traffic is lighter and we’ve kept many of our weekend activities closer to home. But admittedly, we… Read more »

Phil Looney
Phil Looney
11 years ago

I’ve noticed a lot more people around town riding scooters. I’ve thought of it myself, as it seems more practical in my city as we have such a poor bus system.

Eric Hollins
Eric Hollins
11 years ago

Instead of getting a scooter, I would think about getting a used small motorcycle like a Kawasaki Ninja 250R or Honda VTR250. They are great, easy to ride, fun little bikes. They don’t get quite as good of gas mileage as scooters, but they are a lot better for highway stints and 50-70mpg in a 250cc motorbike is still pretty good. Yes, a motorcycle needs more capital outlay up front (lessons, helmet, gloves, boots, chaps, etc) but it is more practical for everyday use.

Kitty
Kitty
11 years ago

Things are slowly changing here on the east coast. I recently bought a 4-cylinder car from a family member for a dollar. My husband uses it to commute back and forth to work instead of the big diesel truck. Now, he spends $25 a week on fuel for the car and fuels up the truck once a month. Before the change, we were spending $80 a week on diesel. I’m also changing the way I drive the van. Oh, I’ll be keeping it. Two kids and all their stuff is not going to fit in a Prius-sorry-and the van is… Read more »

April
April
11 years ago

I carpool, and my husband and I decided to make it with one car when his was totaled. So far, no need for a second car, and he works Saturdays (I don’t) and we live in a rural area, 30 minutes from the city. People thought we were crazy for not buying a second car right away, but we used most of the insurance money to pay off our credit cards and saved part of it for an emergency fund (we’re now working on the auto loan, which will be paid off before the end of the year). I still… Read more »

Annie
Annie
11 years ago

We’ve been a one car family (just 2 of us) for about 3 years. Saved lots of money in insurance and maintenance with one car. My hubby walks to school/work about 1 mile each way. I usually drive 20 min to work each way. It’s a little tricky when the car is in the shop but I’ve bummed rides with co-workers or borrowed cars from friends. Recently I’ve started a combo of carpooling in the mornings with a co-worker and riding the bus home in the evening 2 or 3 days a week. The bus ride is relaxing time to… Read more »

MJ
MJ
11 years ago

I live near Rochester, NY which is a fairly small city so public transportation is limited to the city. My commute is about 35 minutes one way, for bigger city folks that is probably nothing. But it is all highway, close to 30 miles, one way. So it just isn’t practical to ride a bike to work since it would quadruple my commute time from 1hr/day to 4+ hrs/day. Hybrids aren’t practical either because they actually don’t get high MPG on the highway because they use braking to regenerate energy. So my 28mpg, 10 year old, paid off car is… Read more »

Jessica Beganski
Jessica Beganski
11 years ago

I’m a Realtor and my car is my mobile office. I can’t always drive less – so I learned to drive differently – I even wrote about it on my blog – http://ctrealestateunleashed.com/2008/05/31/selling-real-estate-in-the-slow-lane/.

It’s saved me some money not enough to cover the increase in costs but enough to make it less painful.

I’ve made some other changes to compensate and save a little more money- I turn off my computer and printer at night, I bought a clothesline, I used the AC less this year, etc.

Eric Hollins
Eric Hollins
11 years ago

This may sound odd but I actually want to see gas prices to stay in the $4-5 range for awhile (1-2 years). I’m actually a bit disappointed to see them dip down to $3.50 in my area. The reason for this is that if gas prices stay high for a long time (6 months isn’t a long time), I think it’ll be a big catalyst for change in this country of excess. People will start moving closer to work to save money. Yes, it could drive up real estate in downtown areas but with the housing market falling at the… Read more »

jb
jb
11 years ago

I’ve only recently realized just what a large percentage of cars are SUV’s, vans, or pickup trucks. And while they weren’t all purchased while gas was in the $4/gallon range, gas has now been well over $2/gallon for several years now. I like my fuel-efficient (between 30-35mpg) car. I do drive a lot, between my drive to work and visiting family. But I have cut back significantly on small errands. I refuse to make a special trip to the store for anything. I went roughly three days without milk in the refrigerator because I kept forgetting to buy it on… Read more »

Adrian
Adrian
11 years ago

i would prefer to drive an old model large car (caddy) for the safety. Gas prices negligible in my case ($50 per week). Lots of people will be nursing big financial headaches after gas goes back down again. It’s already such a small component of my budget that i would rather pay for more gas for a big sedan, espec. when driving family around town. just my 2 cents

HollyP
HollyP
11 years ago

In and around Boston the subway ridership is way up. However, for those of us who live & work in the ‘burbs public transport & easy access to safe bikeways are mostly unavailable. My family made some major changes to reduce driving 3 years ago, but that was more due to quality of life than cost savings. (Plus gas was cheap then! Only $2.00!) Next month when both my kids are old enough to take the school bus, I plan on starting to walk to work or use a push-scooter. Yeah, I’ll look like a dork but I’ll have fun… Read more »

melissa
melissa
11 years ago

When my husband got a new job he could take the train to, we sold his car. Then we moved to a very walkable neighborhood. I drive my commute and that’s pretty much it. We can walk or bike wherever we go. I encourage everyone to look into Zipcar. My husband participated in their Low Car Diet (http://www.zipcar.com/lowcardiet/) for the past few weeks and has driven to take his tests in a scion, civic hybrid and even a mini cooper! If anyone in the DC area is considering doing zipcar, leave a message on vonhinken.com and i’ll send more info.… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
11 years ago

Great comments so far. I grew up in a rural area with no public transportation, so I know how that can affect your car decisions. Also, it rains a lot in Oregon, so that limits how much many people are willing to bike. I’m sure that’s the same in places like Wisconsin, Houston, and North Carolina. (I know that some brave and noble souls will bike year-round in these places, but for most people it’s just too much.) Also, it completely slipped my mind to mention that the City of Portland has a trip reduction incentive program for its employees.… Read more »

Lau
Lau
11 years ago

We didn’t really change our habits because of the higher gas prices. We only have one car, which is all paid for. Hubby takes it to work since public transportation is not convenient to Woburn, MA from where we live and I have a monthly pass for subway to come into Cambridge. We fill up about once every 10 days.

Kate
Kate
11 years ago

I live in Savannah, Ga and have noticed large changes already. Bus ridership is up even while the public transit system is skeletal. More notices for carpooling. Increased number of bikes downtown and increase in requests for bike lanes on the roads to City Hall. We are a one car family as my partner can walk to work. I carpool a couple of times a week and have thought about a scooter myself – although I’d have to keep the car for those rainy days and large grocery runs so I’m still deciding if the overall savings in gas would… Read more »

Jon
Jon
11 years ago

“Two kids and all their stuff is not going to fit in a Prius-sorry…”

Sorry, but that makes no sense. If two kids and “all their stuff” won’t fit in a 4-passenger car, there’s too much “stuff.” It might require some changes in habits, but don’t say it’s impossible! There are plenty of parents who do it all the time, for whom a van is not an option financially.

Alex
Alex
11 years ago

Here in Chicago I bike to work during the summers, while my fiancee rides the bus. We both take the bus during the long winters. That’s right, even in a city with plenty o’ subway and commuter rail, we do not own a car and instead take the BUS. I know Houston doesn’t have ANY public transit….oh wait, here it is: http://www.ridemetro.org/ This is very frustrating for me when people in other cities speak of there being “no public transit”. Apparently buses are some lowly form of transit for “other people”. To be honest I think this is a reflection… Read more »

James
James
11 years ago

I commute on a motorbike because I love riding a bike and savings on gas are an added bonus. Car drivers are fickle. When gas prices got near four dollars, I saw lots of bikes on the road. People driving slower. Fewer cars on the road and full buses. However, now that the gas prices down. Buses are empty. Bikes have disappeared. Cars and truck are back to normal levels and people are back to driving at 75+. You can save in your current vehicle by just driving slower. According to my dad who works with wind tunnel testing for… Read more »

Miranda
Miranda
11 years ago

We’ve always had just one car (and we’re entering our 7th year of marriage). My husband rides the bus, and I try to walk if I can.

But I have changed some of my driving habits. While I’m not a hyper-miler, I have tried to be more conscious of the way I’m driving, and doing so at a slower pace, trying to ease up on the accelerator and time things so that I don’t need to press so hard on the brakes. And we’re now bordering on obsessive when it comes to keeping our tires properly inflated!

JerichoHill
JerichoHill
11 years ago

Hey hey JD, now you know that even your GRS mod community has its resident scooterist! For city living, nothing beats a scooter. You can park it anywhere, you get 100mpg. Was it high gas prices that changed my behavior? No, for me it was the high carrying cost of insurance and vehicle maintenance that did it! Though, in the winter, I take the subsidized mass transit. It however, takes me 45 minutes to get into work, whereas via scooter I can get in within 15 minutes. I cannot strongly urge enough for folk to check out their local scooter… Read more »

KC
KC
11 years ago

Owning a car really is a luxury that people have turned in to a neccessity. When you think about the purchase of a car, gas, maintenance, space (and the taxes you pay) to house a car, tires, and insurance that is a lot of money for the average family. Then people go and compound the problem by getting in a car they can’t afford and being upside down in the note. That being said it has tunred into a neccessity in many places. I live in Memphis and I’m seeing more motorcycles and scooters as well as bicycles. But the… Read more »

Ruthie
Ruthie
11 years ago

Well, I met a new friend through a green drinks group and we figured out that we both make the same commute at about the same time of day, so we’ve started taking turns driving a couple of times a week (we figured twice a week was more doable to begin with while we feel each other and our schedules out) and we’re looking to up it to 3 times a week. It’s not a huge change really, just a little extra thought before you agree to that late afternoon meeting. We haven’t noticed huge savings yet, but I figure… Read more »

Caitlin
Caitlin
11 years ago

Let’s get one thing straight. The US does not have high gas prices. Gas prices are higher than they used to be but they are still very low by world standards. The credit crunch has not really made a difference to the way people in my city (London, UK) drive. Most people don’t drive but use public transport or cycle. Those that do, drive cars that are on average smaller and more fuel efficient than the average US car. Across Europe, cycling becomes even more common. I lived in Sydney, Australia until I was 27 and London for the past… Read more »

db
db
11 years ago

It hasn’t really changed my gas habits — because they were already pretty gas-conscious. I live in the Denver metro area, and we have really great options for public transportation. I live about 1 1/2 miles from a light rail station and two blocks from a bus stop. I don’t take the bus often, but I take light rail to work every day (I also telecommute to work about 2-3 times a month). That meeans I can limit my driving to back and forth to the light rail station and driving about for my weekend chores/fun. It usually takes me… Read more »

KC
KC
11 years ago

Oh and before anyone jumps on me about Memphis transportation public transportation I did use it for a week. My car was having some body work done and I took the bus to work. I walked a few streets over to catch the bus. Most days I had to wait an hour for the bus to come despite the published stop times. I was also propositioned several times standing there waiting on the bus (in a business suit with a work bag). Several men stopped and offered me a ride. I tried for 4 days to “do the right thing”.… Read more »

jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
11 years ago

My wife and I considered going down to one car, partly because I work from home, but then I told her I didn’t like being stranded at home all day. 🙂

T
T
11 years ago

We visited my in-laws this past weekend (rural Kentucky) and there has been a sea change there–both his cousins have bought sedans to replace their trucks as their regular vehicles (one has three kids, and they all seem to fit); his aunt bought a sedan to replace her old van; and his stepmother has scaled down to a small SUV instead of the huge one. We were in just this past April, so in 4 months the high gas prices made that much impact on his family. Obviously this is just one family in one tiny town, but I was… Read more »

Jaime
Jaime
11 years ago

JD, I wonder how many of your Prius buying friends have children. My husband and I would love a hybrid and we’d love a completely electric vehicle even more! However… we had twins almost a year ago and while we agreed to avoid the whole “baby machine” claim that having children automatically requires a minivan, we were stumped when we purchased our carseats… my husband is very tall and he could not drive our small sedan with two carseats in the back! His knees were literally up around his ears on either side of the steering wheel! We gave in… Read more »

mwarden
mwarden
11 years ago

Hybrids still don’t work out economically for the typical driver. It’s easy to say “ride a bike” or “take the bus” when people live in areas where this is feasible, but MOST of the US does not have adequate public transportation, and MOST of the US is constructed to make biking impossible. Scooters are a possibility, but unsafe. The government would be wise to spend money on reducing oil reliance, except that politicians’ contribution coffers would dry up. There is some talk about people migrating out of the suburbs and into the city. I think this is mostly hogwash, and… Read more »

Brigid
Brigid
11 years ago

I tried riding the bus, but here in Daytona – Votran has too many crazies. It’s unfortunate because 85% of the people who ride ARE normal, but it just doesn’t make up for the smelly drunks and psuedo “gangstas”. Besides travel time is an hour to work and an hour and a half back. Normally, it’s about a 20 minute drive. I’m glad I tried it though because if my car ever does break down, I know I have other options. I do have plans to purchase a scooter to ride to work and my S.O. recently traded in his… Read more »

Bob
Bob
11 years ago

If you are seriously considering a scooter, I suggest that you wait. Scooters are like exercise equipment: good intentions but not always follow through. If gas goes back down there will be scooters on the market. If gas stays up, the “fair weather” riders will have nearly new 2-wheelers for sale. High milage, Japanese, 4 cylinder with AC, heat and CD – that’s for me.

Cory
Cory
11 years ago

I live in a college town and I would say that the locals, mainstays and other residents who live here on a constant basis have cut back proportionally on their driving. This summer has seen a lot of the highway traffic reduced significantly. Even rush hour has gone from utterly unbearable to just irritating now. However, as school starts back up again, the college kids are filtering in and these people are relatively immune to the gas price hike as they drive cars that are already paid for by mommy and daddy and even the gas itself is taken care… Read more »

leigh
leigh
11 years ago

i figured the cost of taking the bus. it’s not much less than the cost of gas for my car, and adds about 2 hours to my day because routes are so limited. the time is worth it to me to keep driving. biking is not an option here. there are no bike lanes, no shoulders, and no respect for bikers. this was a big shock when we first moved here, since we came from a very bike friendly area. i personally know 3 people who have been hit by cars while biking here, and i’m not taking that chance… Read more »

Carrie
Carrie
11 years ago

We have always based our living location on public transport and neighborhood walkability. It has never made sense to me to spend time driving when you could be reading on the train or walking — and the increased cost of driving has just reinforced that. When we lived in San Francisco, we chose a place walking distance from my job and from the Muni/BART station. Now that we’re in the Chicago area, we chose Oak Park so my husband can take the El or Metra to work. I CAN walk the kids around town, although I’m working on the self-discipline… Read more »

Christine
Christine
11 years ago

I live in Chicago, so there is a wide network of public transportation options and an increasingly friendly bike system along many of the major streets. I do freelance work in client’s homes and was driving every day out of laziness (and also eating a lot of crap via drive-through). I’ve recently made the switch back to the train and riding my bike on good-weather days. I own a ten-year-old car purchased from a family member and have a very low car payment. I try to use this as little as possible and only on the days when the others… Read more »

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