Giving up the car
With the rain and winds and cold here, we have converted from a biking/mass transit family to a driving family. Obsessed with how much direct and other social costs we were now incurring, I found the website The True Cost of Driving, which estimates that it costs about $1.19 per mile in a whole host of direct driver expenses as well as societal costs, such as costs of infrastructure or accidents. For our 3.5 mile commute, this cost equates to just a little over two 2-zone TriMet tickets. And, with our daughter now at 7 years of age, she also has to pay her bus fare, therefore making it cheaper to all drive together. I suppose I am trying to rationalize that driving, in some cases, could cost about the same as taking mass transit?
Mardi is a mama who is not deterred by the thought of going car-free this winter. She recently emailed:
I am currently obsessed about selling our two cars and am extremely interested in other families that have done so.
My husband wants to keep one car - just in case. I'm pregnant with my second child and I'd love to hear how families manage to go carless with kids. What do they do if they need a car, say if a child gets sick. Renting a car isn't really all that cheap, neither is Flexcar at $10 an hour. Is bicycling around really practical in Portland when it rains so much?