Frugality in practice: Alternate modes of transportation

I've always been a car guy. It's not that I'm mechanically inclined or that I get into the latest makes and models — neither of these is anywhere close to the truth — but that a car has always been my primary mode of transportation.

When I was a boy, my family lived in rural Oregon, six miles from the nearest town. Automobiles were our only real option for getting around. Even when I went away to college, I relied on a car for most of my mobility. And so it's been for forty years. As I say, I've always been a car guy.

This summer, though, I've had a sort of epiphany, one prompted by your comments and suggestions. I've learned that I can save money and improve my fitness by leaving my car at home — by exploring alternate modes of transportation.

The Bus

After my small adventure riding the bus in April, I've begun to view it as a valid means for getting around town. I think it helps that our friends Chris and Jolie are huge bus advocates, and use it to travel to and from our house. If they can use the bus, so can I — right? Now, instead of seeing the bus as something other people use, I know it's something that I can use as well.

For example, I'm hoping to take a French class at a local college when the fall term starts. (Kris and I are teaching ourselves French in preparation for our planned vacation to Paris next autumn.) If I do this, I intend to take the bus to school three mornings a week.

I still don't use the bus often, but it's now in my pool of options, especially if I don't want to hassle with a car. Portland's transit system has an awesome website, so it's easy to find a route that works for me.

The Bike

I love cycling, but I rarely hop on a bike anymore. For a couple of years during the late 1990s, I regularly rode my bike 5.8 miles to-and-from the box factory during the summer. I was biking over 1000 miles a year. I've biked occasionally here at our new house, but I'm older and fatter than I used to be, and my bike no longer really fits me.

I spent the better part of this summer avoiding a bike purchase — I just bought a car, for goodness sake — but two weeks ago, I finally realized that I was being foolish. I bought a city bike, one that actually fits, one that I actually use. Even though I could afford it, I felt apprehensive spending the money. (Still haven't shaken all of the old mindsets.) But after a fortnight using my new vehicle, I'm pleased with the purchase.

A bicycle is handy not only for exercise, but also for handling middle-distance errands. If a destination is within 10-15 miles and it's not raining (an important consideration here in Oregon), a bike is a viable option. Biking to my friend Andrew's house takes about 25 minutes, for example; that's only 10 minutes longer than it takes by car. And biking to the nearest grocery store barely takes any time at all.

Now that I have a bike that fits me — and one specifically designed for city cycling — I'm eager to make frequent use of it. It's been over a decade since I had a 1000-mile year. It'd be great to ride that far again in 2010!

My Feet

The bus and the bike are great, but the real revelation in alternate transportation this summer has come from my own two feet. I've been walking all over the place.

Kris and I don't live in a very walkable neighborhood. Despite a “somewhat walkable” Walk Score of 68, there's nothing much close by. (In calculating walkability for us, the Walk Score counts two minimarts as grocery stores and two bars as restaurants — including one with the dubious distinction of being named “the best dive bar in Portland”.)

After I developed another running injury in June, I decided that I'd have to get my exercise by walking. That meant jaunting five or six miles each day to get the same time on my feet that I'd spent running. It also meant learning to see the surrounding communities in new ways.

For example, I've always felt that the nearest city was too far to walk to. It's 2-1/2 miles to the near side of town and three miles to the far side. But I recently made a deal with myself: Once per week, I allow myself to go to the comic book store and to eat at the cheap taco place — but only if I walk. Walking creates a barrier. By setting this requirement, I can't just indulge myself on a whim.

It's not just the comic book store and the taco stand, though. I walk three miles to the credit union. I walk a mile-and-a-half to the public library. I walk a mile to the grocery store. And once, I even walked two miles to the lawnmower repair shop, and then pushed my mower home.

I never thought I could make the time to walk five miles per day, but I was wrong.

And here's something I've learned: Once you start walking five miles a day, your world gets bigger. I know this seems counter-intuitive — a car takes you further faster — but it's true. You begin to realize that things are closer than you thought they were. Walking is a great way to save money, see your neighborhood, and have fun.

Other Options

Although I may be new convert to alternate modes of transportation, many GRS readers have been working to reduce their car use for a long time, and for a variety of reasons. On Twitter last week, I asked people to share their stories:

Here are some of the replies:

  • @apricotrabbit wrote: “Between the bus & Zipcar, I don't need a car in the city & I save tons of money. Plus, I can read while someone drives me around.”
  • @mrawdon wrote: “I've been biking to work twice a week this summer, for the exercise. Cuts down on gas consumption significantly, too.”
  • @grouchyladybug wrote: “i take the train & bus to work b/c it's cheaper & more relaxing than driving”
  • @sarahperiwinkle wrote: “I take the commuter rail b/c its free with employer transit pass, w/in walking distance of home and work, and as fast as car.”
  • @jessemecham wrote: “is a sweet scooter alternate transportation? 70 mpg and I look good. (Yes, it was partially to save gas).”
  • It's important to note that not everyone likes biking or taking the bus. I heard from some people who wish they could use a car more often, or who opt not to use other methods because they're inconvenient.

Conclusion

Not all Americans have the luxury of being able to explore alternate means of transportation. For good or ill, we're a car-centric nation that has built car-centric cities that encourage us to stay in our automobiles. But I suspect that there are a large number of people who could travel by bus, bike, or feet — if they only realized how easy it is. (That was certainly true in my case, anyhow.)

For some people, time is an issue, but I have intentionally created a lifestyle that allows me an opportunity to explore more leisurely modes of transportation.

All of this is well and good during the warm, dry months. But what happens when the Oregon rain returns in mid-October? I'm not sure. I suspect my bicycle will go into hibernation, I'll only walk a couple of times each week, and I'll really get to learn how Portland's bus system works. And my spending on gas and car maintenance will continue to drop.

Walking photo by The Giant Vermin. Bus photo by Jason McHuff, who appears to be something of a bus fanatic.

More about...Transportation, Frugality

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Khürt
Khürt
11 years ago

I’ve explored all these options but none are practical for me. My office is 8 miles aways along narrow country roads with no sidewalks and lots of car and truck traffic. Unsafe, even on a weekend. Biking is impractical for the same reason. There is no bus or rail service to the office either. Most of the residents in this area are in the same boat. Employers and the townships in the area have started to take note and are VERY slowly building out sidewalks and bike paths or providing work from home options. I was offered a work from… Read more »

Charlie@PayLessForFood
11 years ago

This is a great topic. We have been experimenting with alternate forms of transportation for the last couple of years now. If you live in a large city you may not even need a car. I recently lived without one for two years. In Chicago you can get a week long transit pass that will allow you to take unlimited amounts of trips on the subway and buses for only $24 week. You take unlimited trips and can literally reach almost anyplace in the city – all for less than a tank of gas. When you do need to take… Read more »

Ophelie
Ophelie
11 years ago

A few years ago, I attended a conference on sustainable transportation. It was eye-opening. I’ve always used the bus and metro, since Montreal has excellent public transportation, and a car is an expense I’m not willing to take on. I was shocked at the high percentage of people who had never tried taking the bus, or who had all kinds of preconceived notions about it. I love the bus. I get to knit and read, I don’t have to worry about parking or insurance costs, and the subway is faster than driving. There’s an excellent car-sharing system in Montreal called… Read more »

Kate
Kate
11 years ago

I’ve lived in major cities where I owned a car, but relied on public transit instead. Usually it was because finding parking on the street was such a hassle it wasn’t worth giving up a spot once I found one. Now I live in a smaller city but work outside it and the transit system here is so infrequent that it’s not reliable for me to use for work. Once home, however, I usually walk most of the time. J.D. – Once the rains come, just invest in a good golfing umbrella and some decent rain boots and you can… Read more »

guinness416
guinness416
11 years ago

“Alternate” transport has been my primary method of transportation all of my life. I guess I see it from the opposite point of view in terms of effort – I can’t even imagine dealing with the stress, expense and wasted time that is driving in this city (Toronto) every day.

Joseph Scandura
Joseph Scandura
11 years ago

I just work from home, so I don’t have to use any transportation most of the time. But when I do need to travel, public transportation is just far too slow. I hate wasting time waiting for public transport.

Andrew
Andrew
11 years ago

Where I live in rural Florida my WalkScore is 0 so I am totally car dependent. Sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, and buses do not exist either.
Car dependence is one reason I think Americans are getting heavier.
This article is good for those who live in a major city and interesting reading for those of us who do not.

Andrea
Andrea
11 years ago

My husband and I live in Baltimore, which doesn’t have great public transit. But we are both able to commute to work using public buses and free shuttles (he works for a university, and I am a grad student). We also walk just about everywhere, even if it means a 2-3 mile walk each way. We enjoy getting to see the city that way, and it’s great exercise. We have one car, but only drive it on weekends to run errands or for longer trips. We save a lot of money by only having one car instead of two, and… Read more »

Jon
Jon
11 years ago

I wish we had a walking score of 68 here. I went to check out my score thinking, “We having walking trails in our neighborhood. That’s pretty good, right?” 9 out of 100. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a rural area where everything is spread out.

Aaron
Aaron
11 years ago

I live in a Minneapolis suburb and work a little over a mile from my house. I still don’t walk or bike regularly (during the warm months, at least). I looked into the bus, but most my desired destinations are 1+ by bus because the system is geared to get people in and out of the downtown areas. There is a lso a lightrail system that I’ve used when I had to go downtown.

Wanda
Wanda
11 years ago

Thank you for mentioning that many of us can’t use public transportation. It is very frustrating to hear public officials constantly talking about how we “refuse to use public transportation”, when there is none in your area. We are not the bad guys, we are the forgotten ones. The closest bus stop is 20 miles from my house- in the wrong direction.

Lindsay
Lindsay
11 years ago

Just a though on taking a French class…My husband and I spent 2 weeks in Paris in May, we only met 2 people that did not speak English. We bought 2 learn french at home sets, each came with a book and a CD. Total cost $25. We would listen to them everywhere we went. We learn basic words and needed pharases. We both have iphone and there are multiple WONDERFUL language applications for free. (Also really great tour guild apps!) We arrived in France prepared. When ever we started to speak french, we would get told “Ah you know… Read more »

Karen
Karen
11 years ago

J.D.–When the Oregon rains reappear this fall, just invest in a large golf umbrella. That way, you can continue walking. I’m fortunate that I live in a big east coast city, built pre-automobile. So, walking is my primary mode of transportation. I walk year-round, in every type of weather. I can get all my needs, and most of my wants met via walking. My car gets used on the weekend only.

Valerie M
Valerie M
11 years ago

I like the idea of using walking to create a barrier. I tried this one when I wanted to buy something at the nearest Walgreens (1 mile from where I live) and I walked there. I ended up getting what I wanted and 2 miles of exercise in the process.

Another good thing about using public transportation, aside from saving money, is you get some time back. When you drive a car you can’t do anything but focus on the road. Take a bus and you could catch up on reading or writing.

Kyle
Kyle
11 years ago

J.D. – about what to do in the fall when the weather gets worse: I was talking with someone who was training to hike the Appalachian Trail, and apparently the saying among AT through-hikers is “No rain, no Maine,” meaning that if you take rainy days off on your hike, you’ll never make it to the finish on Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I try to take this approach in my walk to work, which I make just about every day, rain or shine (although at 3.5 miles round trip each work day, it would take me about three years to… Read more »

Gene at www.kitchentablenomics.com
Gene at www.kitchentablenomics.com
11 years ago

I like hoofing it too and routinely walk on errands where the one-way trip is maybe 30 minutes or less. But the real eye-opener was canvassing for the Census earlier this year and knocking on neighborhood doors for 35-40 hours a week. New trikes, remodeling permits, utility cutoff notices and other things you notice tell stories on every block.

Tyler@FrugallyGreen
11 years ago

I just started leaving the car at home on the weekends and riding my bike to run all of my errands and do all my socializing. It’s amazing how riding a bike and walking can really change your perception and awareness of a city. Each mode of transportation slows you down more and allows you the opportunity to notice all the things that just go by too fast in a car. When I started riding my bike, I realized that there were places very close to my neighborhood that I could walk to, but always drove across town instead because… Read more »

Eric F.
Eric F.
11 years ago

Toutes mes félicitations pour ton initiative de prendre des cours de français. Paris est vraiment une ville magnifique. Profitez-en pour découvrir le Vélib’, les bicyclettes en locations disponible partout à travers la ville. Mais, pourquoi traverser l’océan? Si vous le voulez, Montréal est beaucoup plus proche et vous pouvez pratiquer votre français. Au pire, si vous vous sentez trop intimidé, la majorité des gens parlent aussi très bien anglais. Montréal est beaucoup moins cher que Paris et certains endroits sont très européens. Bonnes vacances! P.S. : If you need some help in french, don’t be afraid to ask your readers.… Read more »

Ivy
Ivy
11 years ago

First of all, I too live in Portland — which is an alternative transportation mecca. I used to live in New Mexico and Colorado where there were no buses to speak of. So I sympathize with people who are like “what bus?” Anyway, the in 07 and 08, we lived about 4 miles from my office. I rode nearly every day and all year round — rain or shine. The trick is gear (water proof bags, gloves, helmet cover) and a place to change at the office. The only times I couldn’t ride were when it was icy. Of course… Read more »

Matt
Matt
11 years ago

My wife and I live just outside the downtown core of Toronto, so we mostly walk or take the TTC (the local transit system). I’ve started riding my old bike to work, since my new employer has a really nice bike rack indoors (i.e. minimal theft concern). When we need to get out of the city, we rent a car, since the methods of getting out of the city otherwise can be rather surprisingly expensive (eg. visting my parents about an hour away from the city costs about $100 for the two of us round-trip).

Debbie M
Debbie M
11 years ago

Is the rain in Oregon really that bad? I thought you had sprinkling all day. That might lead to splatter when you’re bicycling, but walking should still be okay with either a hat and rain coat or an umbrella. Oh, wait, I vaguely remember that in the fall you guys do have thunderstorms. I highly recommend taking French, even if everyone you meet in France speaks English. You actually have someone to practice with! And it’s fun! And you’ll be able to read French books (like _The Little Prince_) in the original. And watch French movies (“La Femme Nikita”). And… Read more »

Todd @ Personal Finance Playbook
Todd @ Personal Finance Playbook
11 years ago

I actually just bought a road bike but have used it more for fun riding than as a mode of transportation. I’m lucky that I live close to lots of things. I drive to work, but other than that I tend to walk most of the places I need to go. Where I live (St. Louis) we have a metro system that I haven’t taken in years. This is a good reminder that the Metro (it’s a train) might be a good alternative to get from A to B. I don’t even know how much it cost anymore! I’ll definitely… Read more »

Eden Jaeger
Eden Jaeger
11 years ago

Sadly I live 26 miles from work and a 15 minute drive to the nearest grocery store. I need to move closer to town some day. I have a convenience store about a 4 mile walk from my house. I hardly go there, and hadn’t considered walking but that may be a possibility.

Tracy
Tracy
11 years ago

Being a 29 year old who never learned how to drive, I’m a big fan of using my own 2 feet as well.

DeborahM
DeborahM
11 years ago

I control my weight and manage to maintain my health baseline by doing most of my daily stuff on foot, some by bike, only some by car.

Abby
Abby
11 years ago

Usually living in the big City – well, technically we’re right outside of Washington DC, but within the Beltway – is an invitation to higher costs of living. But we’ve been fortunate with transit. I walk a few blocks to work, and my husband walks a few blocks to the Metro. There are also buses and plenty of things within walking distance, including a full-service grocery store, several drug stores, etc. Our monthly mortgage is expensive, but we own just one, paid-off car which rarely leaves the garage. When we ran the numbers – live farther out in cheaper housing… Read more »

Allison
Allison
11 years ago

Enjoyed the article, JD. Do they make a bicycle-attached umbrella? – ha! – that’d be quite an invention. My husband and I share a car. We both live about a mile away from our jobs, so usually during the week we’ll switch off who gets to drive, depending if my husband has to run some work errands, or if I’ll be picking up groceries. The walking isn’t so bad in the spring and fall, but I’m starting to sweat in the summer mornings! The best part about the walking is the few minutes of quiet thinking time. My dad has… Read more »

Linear Girl
Linear Girl
11 years ago

I just want to reinforce the idea that good gear will make all the difference to walking and biking in the rain. I spent one winter in Seattle and my (limited) experience with daily rain was that it often was little more than a drizzle. In those circumstances I still walked, usually eschewing an umbrella for a good rain hat and coat. Thanks for sharing that you sometimes learn from us, too, as we learn from you and your other readers.

anna
anna
11 years ago

I’m happy to see that you discovered that you can get quite far just using your feet. I’m from Sweden, and I rely solely on public transportation, my bike and walking wherever I go – which is easy since I have access to good train connections and plenty of buses to choose from, there are sidewalks and designated bike lanes everywhere and our society isn’t as car centric as is the case for you in the US (I did a road trip in the US last summer and it was very frustrating having to use the car wherever we went… Read more »

JerryB
JerryB
11 years ago

When I lived in Phoenix, I rode the bus or biked everywhere.
Where I live now, the bus service is questionable at best. I live about a mile from the nearest major grocery store and will regularly walk there when I need just a couple of items. The bank, bakery outlet and bowling alley are all easy walks.
As for commute, I work as a field service technician and my work truck is sitting in my driveway. I could end up anywhere in seven counties on any given day.

ebyt
ebyt
11 years ago

Luckily, my workplace is a 15 min walk from my apartment. Sucks in the cold Canadian winters, but even if I did own a car (I always took the bus/train to university and never even got my license yet), it would be foolish to pay the huge downtown parking fees, my building parking fees, and driving what is walkable in 15 min. Not saying everyone can do what I do, but it’s nice to not have a car payment and to get 30 min exercise 5 days a week without even trying. If I need to transport some heavy things… Read more »

Eric Roth
Eric Roth
11 years ago

You’ve pointed out some often overlooked options, including walking five miles a day. Some cities and situations, in the Northwest and Western Europe, support both public transportation and walking options.

Alas, I live in Los Angeles.

Yet while I have only started commuting to work 16 miles away, I have already found it a satisfying experiment. So far, I’m having more, better conversations and losing fewer hours listening to morose NPR news reports. Now I just need to get out that bike more!

Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

Lydia
Lydia
11 years ago

I would love to walk more. In fact, there is a grocery about 2 miles from my house that I drive to all of the time. The reason I drive is because I have 3 small children and I have to cross a 5 lane road – I just don’t feel safe doing it. But I guess when you have kids, it makes everything more difficult. (oh, I am a stay at home mom, so they are always with me)

Alexandra
Alexandra
11 years ago

I live in downtown Toronto, and walk everywhere. My husband needs his car for work (he does client visits in their homes all over the city), but I sold my car about 6 years ago and never looked back.

I love walking to and from work everyday. It is such a great way to clear your mind from all work-related stress.

Golfing Girl
Golfing Girl
11 years ago

I work in a medium sized city so it’s easy to walk to lunch and the local CVS from my work. However, I live 10 miles from work, and there isn’t a bus stop near my home (parking is only $10/month). But your comment about the grocery store got me thinking. I live only 1.75 miles from a grocery store. However, I can’t fathom trying to get all of my grocies home by walking. I’d have to break up my weekly/bi-weekly trips into about 10 trips to carry everything. How do you haul it all? Plus the stretch of road… Read more »

Trini
Trini
11 years ago

As a student, I was fortunate to live directly off the bus line. Taking the bus (for free with my student ID) saved me the $500 annual campus parking pass, car maintenance/gas etc for the trip, and the aggravation of stop-and-go traffic (mostly due to all the traffic lights). As a side perk, I was able to do a good portion of my reading for class on the bus! Now that I’m working a real job, I’m again fortunate to live a mile off the bike path, so I can ride my bike to work and back (18 mile round… Read more »

KC
KC
11 years ago

I just moved from a neighborhood with a walk score of 95 (major city – 1M+ population). Everything I could need on a daily basis was within a 10 minute walk or a few minutes bike ride. In December we moved to a neighborhood with a walk score in the 30s (small city – 250k population). The only thing I can walk to is a convenience store, a deli, and a few other shops like a cleaners that I don’t really use. And those stores are up a major hill that I’m not walking up in 90 degree heat. Public… Read more »

Dave
Dave
11 years ago

What happens when the Oregon rain returns in mid-October? You get to enjoy it! I have found that as I commute by bike 6+ miles every day in northeast Iowa the change of seasons is really enjoyable because I’m a part of it every day. I’ve ridden my early 90’s mountain bike in all sorts of weather and once I accepted the weather as something to just prepare for it made all the difference. Rain? Fenders and a rain suit put a smile on my face. Snow and ice? Studded bicycle tires allow me to look for icy patches so… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
11 years ago

@Anna (#29) Great points, Anna. I do think that my view of a 2-1/2 miles as “long” is based on inexperience. I didn’t have room to share all of my walking adventures in this article, but here’s one more to add to give some perspective: Last Thursday, Kris and I were scheduled to meet her cousin for dinner. He was visiting from California, and we had picked one of our favorite restaurants. About 70 minutes before we were supposed to meet, I realized that I could possibly walk to the restaurant. It’s five or six miles away. This never would… Read more »

Salamanda
Salamanda
11 years ago

I went carless last September and it works great for me. A few caveats.. 1.) I live in Portland, home of the fabulous public transportation system. 2.) No kids. 3.) Work pays for my monthly transit pass. 4.) About once a month, I rent a car for the day to get in all my driving errands or go to the coast. It’s been almost year, and it’s amazing how much extra money I’ve been able to save because of not having a car. I’d realized that despite the car being paid-off, there was insurance, gas, parking and the incidentals of… Read more »

Foxie@CarsxGirl
11 years ago

I *really* do need my car, no kidding… I live a bit further from the city than a bus would ever drive, as I’ve never seen a public transit bus on the highway. However, I get *plenty* of walking into my days. My husband and I go on walks very frequently in the evenings, and many days if I don’t have to leave base I’ll walk to where I have to go. (My usual choice when having to go to the BX or something, but the commissary is car territory for sure.) During the school-year, I actually use a scooter… Read more »

Funny about Money
Funny about Money
11 years ago

Thanks for the link to the “Walk Score” site. Entertaining! It rates my neighborhood as “somewhat walkable.” If you don’t care what sort of area you walk through (i.e., how likely you are to be mugged), that may be true. Problem is, it can’t evaluate the relative safety or the degree to which you’re blasted by traffic noise and fumes along any of the routes to the various sites the system sees as within walking distance. The bus system here, despite the city’s many stalwart efforts to improve it, is pretty impractical: takes 2 hours and 10 minutes to get… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
11 years ago

And now I will walk one mile to the grocery store, buy two donuts and milk, then walk three-quarters of a mile back to my office, from which I will write tomorrow’s entry! 🙂

K.C.
K.C.
11 years ago

I live south of Boston, MA and work north of the city. My employer subsidizes half of my commuter rail pass and so I take the train, subway, and then walk to work. I grew up in San Diego, CA, where the bus and trolley don’t go to many places, so I really appreciate having the convenience of taking decent public transportation and not having to drive everywhere. However, I do prefer taking the car when I can as sometimes the subway is really packed and I’m not terribly fond of the smells one encounters during the summer (and the… Read more »

Ian
Ian
11 years ago

I ride my bike in the winter in Portland. A good goretex jacket is enough for most PDX days. If it’s really coming down I take the car, mostly because I’m worried that cars won’t see me.

But 80% of the rainy days in Portland are definitely bikable, it’s usually just a light mist, or just overcast.

Lesley
Lesley
11 years ago

Some interesting thoughts in this piece. But since this is a money site, I have to ask … what about the time associated with walking, biking and public transportation? For example, if it takes an hour to walk to the bank and back, is that costing you? I work from home, but spend a lot of time in the car ferrying the kids to school and activities, plus errands. I live in a suburb with no public transportation available. There is no possible way I could walk to the bank or the grocery store. It would add hours to my… Read more »

m
m
11 years ago

yikkes Aron won’t walk a mile??? ! a mile of walking slowly is 20 mins – yes 20 mins…

Debbie M
Debbie M
11 years ago

“Do they make a bicycle-attached umbrella?” Some bikes have fenders, which protect you from having a line of mud deposited along a line down the front of you. Add a hat and rain poncho, and that’s pretty good.

Adrian
Adrian
11 years ago

You Know JD, I think walking is one of the most forgotten modes of transportation in our 21st century. I suppose with the advent of cars and public transport most people wouldn’t want to be caught dead using the same type of transportation our forefathers did, but heck, it works! If you reside in an area in which things could be obtained within a few mile’s walk, not only does it reduce your expenses but it REALLY helps keep you fit! When I first began my frugal journey under two years ago, I realized walking was one way to cut… Read more »

Beany
Beany
11 years ago

“Not all Americans have the luxury of being able to explore alternate means of transportation.” I think you have it backwards J.D. Not every American has the luxury of being able to afford an automobile. The AAA has stated that car ownership costs an average of ~$8,000 a year. If one doesn’t have the money to own a car, one will realize very quickly how much of a luxury an automobile is. People without cars in the world far outnumbers those with on. My husband and I have been car free during the course of our entire relationship (about 9… Read more »

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