Transportation Revisited

Yesterday, I whined about not having my dream car, today I am a little more serious about transportation costs.

I have a passive/aggressive relationship with my car. I need it to last me for a couple of years, but I haven’t treated it well for the last five. I’m afraid it is going to come to an end sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, I still can’t afford to get my dream car, or really, any car at all. If I have to, I can take transit to work, but I would lose an additional 1.5 hours in time getting to and from work. When I weigh time versus cost, time almost always wins for me.  I hate to say it, but if push came to shove I would take out a loan to purchase another vehicle.  Now, I wouldn’t buy a new one, never have probably never will, but a newer used vehicle would be likely.  It is funny, the thought of taking out a car loan makes me a little nauseous.

This made me think about what becoming transit dependent would mean for me.  It would be a complete lifestyle change!  Much more of one than I am ready and willing to make right now.

The downside of becoming transit dependent in my small Michigan city

  • I can’t get to my current Orthodontist, Allergist, Dentist, or Doctor, requiring me to find all new ones.  By the way I visit the Allergist weekly and the Orthodonist at least twice a month.
  • I can’t take my pets to the vet without getting a ride from someone.  There are no vets within a reasonable walking distance except one that only takes cats.
  • I can’t get to some of my friend’s homes.
  • I’d have to shop at the more expensive grocery store.  Seriously, the prices at the Kroger near my home are much higher than the one I drive too.
  • I would no longer be able to go to the dog park or take them to my favorite park to hike the trails.
  • No more lunches at home.  I could probably live with this one, but I find I save a ton of money by going home for lunch.  I only live 2.5 miles away but have to travel through not so safe areas to get to and from work if you were suggesting biking or walking.
  • I’d have to change my hours at work.  I work 6:30-3:30 so I can have daylight at the end of the day in the winter and/or go to my allergy/ortho appointments without having to ask for time off work.  I’d have to change my hours because there is NO WAY I am walking the 1/2 mile to the bus stop and wait in the dark at 6am. It’s a decent neighborhood, but it’s not THAT safe!
  • Every trip takes four times as long.  Our transit system’s main goal is to serve the University, so unless that is where your headed, it requires multiple transfers to go anywhere else.

The upside of becoming transit dependent in a small Michigan city

  • I’d save money in parking fees for work, $34/month.
  • Save on gas, $60 a month
  • Get more exercise walking/biking everywhere
  • No more car maintenance and insurance. I haven’t had a payment in over five years.
  • I will become more creative in time management.

Perhaps someday I’ll give up the car.  For now, I’m content to just drive cheap cars.   Maybe I can finally get my Forester in few years as long as its 8+ years old! I bet I can pay cash by then.

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2 responses to “Transportation Revisited

  • Young Mogul

    I think about giving up my car too. But I don’t live in a car-free friendly state/city and it would make life much more difficult. But, the idea of being freed from the cost associated with car ownership is really appealing.

    • Jenn

      Michigan is not transit friendly in anyway unless your in a city with a large university. Even then, the system usually is a hub & spoke system serving the student population. I called the transit agency once for work and they reported their ridership was made up of over 65% student rate rides.

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