My schedule was pretty chill, I had to run out to Howe and Arden area to pick up some stuff for my tutoring job. It was a lovely 30 minute bike ride through East Sac and on the bike trail, very nice. A tool I find invaluable when deciding how to get around is google maps. Plug in your destination and starting point and compare driving, biking and public transit.
This particular trip I might have normally used my car; it's quick, there's plenty of parking and there's no traffic at 11 am.
Looking up public transit on google maps I learn this trip will take between 49 and 52 minutes via bus and light rail and cost $5.00. Google also tells me the average cost to make this trip by car, $3.52 and that only takes 14 minutes (one way). Public transit is out.
Biking is free and doesn't take too much longer than driving, plus I don't have to go to the gym that day.
On the way home I meandered through East Sac, stopped in some shops, went grocery shopping and generally enjoyed the nice weather.
Later that night I was late to a meeting at Fox and Goose. I normally would have used punctuality as an excuse to drive, instead I hopped on my bike and peddled my little heart out. I arrived a little late, a little sweaty... but it was a carbon neutral trip.
Today I have to travel out to the middle of Del Paso Heights, near Interstate 80, off the Norwood exit. The car ride is around 20 minutes and costs $6.11 ($12.22 both ways). Public transit would be an hour and three minutes and cost $5.00. Biking would be free and take around 45 minutes. Now, let's be honest here. I'm not super comfortable biking through some of those neighborhoods.
So I turn to Zipcar. I booked a car for 3:30-6:00 (my tutoring appointment is from 4 to 5:30). Two and a half hours of a zipcar is going to run me around $21, for an hour an a half of work... I'm not making much of a profit that that point.
But what is the value of not owning a car? Perhaps I need to not take students I can't bike to and limit my work related events to things within biking distance - only using zipcars when I truly need them for an hour at a time instead of two and a half.
AAA reported the average cost of owning a car annually is around $8,000 - is it worth it? Luke and I already went from being a two-car-family to a one-car-family. Maybe one is necessary but Zip Car will be there if Luke needs the car for work and I still need wheels for something else.
I'm excited to see how this experiment plays out and if it is going to be something that will work for my family.
|Zipcar regional VP Dan Grossman|
What's between you and car-less living?