My previous job had me driving to 45 miles to work, one-way. The new job would have me driving about 20 miles total, both ways. However, the new job is in New York City and driving there is asking for trouble.
A new job in Midtown Manhattan, a car no longer seemed necessary. Finally, after pouring endless amounts of money into paying for insurance, gas, and repairs, I had an excuse to say goodbye to the stresses that come with owning a car.
Of course, there was more than a new job and its location factoring into my decision to get rid of the car. My 2001 Subaru Forrester was already at 150,000 miles and after owning it for three years I was due for a breakdown, which it did one morning when it would no longer start. Fortunately I had already contacted a family member in the auto industry willing to sell off some parts and give me money in return.
Ever since I had begun driving at 17 it seemed cars were giving me problems. My first ride in my first car, a 1998 Dodge Intrepid, ended with me two blocks away from home and the car unable to move. An immediate omen for my future of constantly needing repairs, it’s a relief to now have one less thing to worry about breaking on me.
Since I live in Northern New Jersey and work in New York City I am not alone. There are plenty of forms of transportation in the area including buses, trains, and subways that my fellow commuters can use.
Instead of driving to work, my morning travel there begins with a mile long walk to the first train, a transfer to another train, and then another mile long walk to the building I am employed at. There are also always the options of taking a few buses or subways instead of walking, but the added exercise from walking is a bonus. Plus due to the high-density of traffic, some days walking may be quicker than using gasoline powered modes of transportation.
Already I have seen the financial benefits of not having a car. Insurance was around $1,000 a year, gas had been costing me about $70 a week, and any trip to the mechanic seemed to run approximately at $500 even after turning down multiple repair recommendations. Now I pay $5 a day to ride the train both ways and the odds of getting stranded are slimmer as are the chances of getting into an accident.
My job contributed a lot to giving up my car, but a big reason why I wanted a job in New York City in the first place was because driving had become a burden. I already feel the stresses of owning a car gone and at least for now I will never have to drive around a parking garage looking for a place to leave my car.