Last weekend, I finally gave up my car. My sister drove it down to LA, where she needs it a lot more than I ever did.
I’m not sure I can explain how much of a relief it is to no longer be a car owner. I don’t have to worry about flat tires, parking tickets, car insurance, or engine malfunctions. I no longer have to obsessively pay attention to rising gas prices. The best part is that I’m forced to drive less, which really makes me a happier person. I do still have access to my girlfriend’s car most of the time, but I’m trying to become less dependent on driving.
I already take the bus to and from work everyday, but besides that commute, I’m trying to walk more. For some errands, that’s easy. I already walk to the farmer’s market nearly every Sunday. But I’m quickly realizing that walking isn’t always realistic.
Yesterday I walked down to Whole Foods on Telegraph and Ashby and tried to be careful not to buy too many heavy items, but I guess I didn’t try hard enough. As soon as I picked up my bags, I realized I’d have to take the bus to get home. So I waited ten minutes for the 1, lugged my bags to the only open seat at the back of the double bus, and then had the doors close on my bag as I tried to get out.
A part of me thought about how convenient it would have been if I had driven to the store, but another part of me just became more determined to improve our transit system. Crowded buses on Saturdays make no sense. Running just one more 1 bus per hour would make a huge impact on the speed and quality of bus rides. BRT would be even better.
I’m still confident that letting go of my car was a good decision, but I’m guessing yesterday’s experience won’t be the only one that leaves me longing for my car.