When automobiles first made their debut in the Roaring ’20s, they were merely a toy for the rich. Post World War II, people were clamoring to stick their heads out the window as they quickly moved towards point B. Flash forward to 2014, and according the study called Commuting in America 2013 performed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 9.3 percent of families are without a car (Forbes). After thoughtful deliberation, I finally decided to ditch my car.
At the time, I had just done some research for an environmental science project. During that time, I came across the fact that our oil and fuel supply was predicted to run out in 40 years. When that time comes, we will be forced to find and utilize alternate energy sources such as hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy (which are not nearly as energy efficient, mind you). In other words, by the end of the project, I was transformed into a part-time environmental activist. After that initial shock, I began to reason that my car was an unnecessary surplus in my life.
As a student, I did not have a job that required my physical presence everyday. Still living at my parents house, I was not required to frequent the grocery store often; I had the large added benefit of my parents helping me out. Thus, it made perfect sense that I simply did not want the many added expenses of an automobile when I did not need one.
It must be noted, however, that I still have have places to be and people to see (go figure). For that, I have to make arrangements accordingly that comply with both my ride’s schedule and mine. For example, for school, I’m able to tag along with my parents on their way to work. For many events with my friends, I’m able to ride along with them. When all else fails, which has yet to happen to me, one resorts to a taxi or public transportation. Rental cars are also a viable option for when you need extended use of a car. Because I live in an area that is subject to the evils of urban sprawl, I do not have the luxury of walking to the majority of my destinations. Furthermore, the public transportation system here is not as commonplace as it is in large urban areas because most people travel by car. This, fortunately, seems to me to be the only downside to living the car-free life.
If you are thinking about moving on from your car-dominated days, you must consider both your living situation and area and list your reasons why; make sure they are legitimate. Look deeply into your future without an automobile and see if it’s a feasible option for you. As for me, this way of life may soon revert back to before in accordance with future changes. But for now, I’m content with my choice and encourage you to consider it.
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