5 Alternatives to Owning a Car: Commute to Work Faster by Neil White

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It goes without saying that owning a car has a lot of advantages. You are independent and free, and you can go basically anywhere you want at any time. However, this freedom has its price. As years go by it’s getting gradually more expensive to own a car. Also, regular car expenses can squeeze out a surprisingly big amount of cash out of your pockets. After a while, you realize that your car is a financial black hole. Not owning a car saves you a ton of money you’d spend on parking, repairs, registration, insurance, and gas. It’s no wonder a lot of people chose not to have a car at all, and use alternative methods of transport and commute. Not only out of financial reasons, but also because of their environmental sensitivity. Car pollution amounts to about one-third of carbon emission, so many people decided to go green with their commute choice. There are several options to choose from if you want to reduce or totally exclude your car from your daily commute. The smoothness of transition mainly depends on your individual circumstances, but it is possible to go car-free with a bit of planning. This article will present to you the most popular alternatives to cars when it comes to commute.

Biking

Biking is quite a popular choice of many commuters, it is also a great form of exercise. Furthermore, you don’t mean as much maintenance when riding a bike comparing to a car.
Newcomers to bike commuting should invest some time in brainstorming the route to their job first. There are many route planning sites that could be helpful, such as Google Maps. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee they will give you an accurate estimate of the time needed to arrive at your destination. Therefore, it’s recommendable to do a test run in order to find out how much time it will take. If your city provides any bike lanes, feel free to use them.
Be careful, though, because you will be riding near traffic, and make sure to obey traffic rules and signals. If you will get sweaty, pack your working clothes with you and change when you get to work. Some offices offer benefits to bike commuters, so make sure you get to know about those. In case of bad weather or any other circumstances that would prevent you from biking, have a backup plan ready.

Walking

If you are up to go old-school and try commuting by foot, make sure that you own a proper set of footwear and suitable attire. It is also pretty helpful if you have something to listen to, be it music, podcasts, audiobooks or anything else. Walking is by far the slowest option of commute but what it can be one of the best in certain circumstances. Similar to biking, walking is a great exercise, but your hands are free so you can make yourself busy while taking a stroll to your workplace. Any place which is under 45 minutes of walking distance is worth trying, especially if you consider the money you will save and the fact that you won’t be late for work because of traffic jams or construction works.

Public Transportation

Every major city should have a well developed public transport network. The bigger cities even have train or subway routes that are able to cross the town in no time. Smaller cities usually have bus traffic. Before you embark on public transport, it’s recommendable to research the best course and try a dry run if possible. Always reserve more time than you actually need, because buses tend to run behind schedule due to traffic jams. Railway based public vehicles are more punctual, but occasionally they can get late too. You can use the time you spend commuting on hobbies, reading, listening or just decompressing. You can also learn more about your city since you have more time to observe it.

E-Scooters

It is notable that electric scooters became really popular recently, and for a reason. If you use an electric scooter, you don’t have to spend money on gas, or repairs. Furthermore, e-scooters are totally green and give you a daily dose of exercise. Riding electric scooter costs you less than a penny per mile, and saves a lot of time by avoiding traffic jams. There are also extremely easy to pack in spaces too tight for cars or bikes. If you want to personalize your city glider, you can order various scooter parts . The common disadvantages of electric scooters are low speed, longer charging time, lack of charging points and strict laws some countries are imposing on electric scooter drivers.

Vehicle sharing

Although this way of commute still includes cars, it is still a move toward smaller car use and smaller CO2 footprint. Ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft gained popularity recently, with the possibility of ride-sharing between commuters heading in the same direction. Certain workplaces have scarce parking spaces and strict car emission policies. That’s why they subsidize workplace carpool services if employees living in the same area agree to do it. This is a great option for colleagues going to the same work. In case you cannot carpool with others, many cities have car-sharing services. You can rent a car for a single journey, then drop it off at the assigned place or give it over to the next customer.

Conclusion

A couple of years ago imagining your life without a car was equal to a nightmare. However, an influx of modern technologies combined with recent environmental awareness made a car-less life equally comfortable. Some of the alternatives to automobiles will save you a lot of money, some will lower your carbon footprint, and some will make you more confident in your own abilities. All you need is to get rid of the prejudice that a car is necessary for comfortable living in a city.