How to Survive Without a Car
Getting your license and first car was your key to independence. You had the freedom to go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted. If you're used to having your own transportation, the idea of being without a car — even for a short time — can be daunting. But getting from one place to another without a car is a lot easier than you might think.
Use Public Transportation
Cities usually have several public transportation choices, such as buses, trains, or subways. The cost varies depending on where you live. If you need to use it daily, it's worth looking into a public transit pass. For a monthly fee, you get unlimited rides, making it easy to get to work, school, the grocery store, and anywhere else you need to go. It's also more cost-effective than a car payment, insurance, parking fees, and other costs associated with auto ownership (and you don't have to waste time searching for hard-to-find parking spots).
Walk to Get Around
Thanks to the convenience of cars, the average American walks just 3,000 to 4,000 steps (or 1 1/2 to 2 miles) per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Increasing the number of steps you take per day to 10,000 might reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health issues.
Additionally, it gives you a chance to get to know your neighborhood. Strap on your walking shoes to get to the neighborhood store, meet up with a friend for coffee, or even commute to work. Take a backpack or tote bag with you to carry what you need.
Ride a Bike
If your destination is within a few miles but not close enough for walking, a bike can become your best friend. New bikes are cheaper than cars, but still might be too costly for your budget. Look for used bikes on social media, on Craigslist, and at yard sales for budget-friendly prices. Many cities are bike-friendly, with clearly marked bike lanes, bike-sharing programs, and even bike racks on city buses so that you can travel longer distances.
Take Advantage of Ride Sharing
Even with all of these options, there are times when you just might need a car. Maybe you need to get to a doctor's appointment, or you have a dozen errands to run all over town. In these instances, ride or car sharing services give you access to transportation right when you need it. Ride shares and even traditional taxis pick you up where you are and drop you off wherever you need to go.
Car sharing isn't available everywhere, but it's expanding across the U.S. This service allows you to "rent" a car for just a few hours so you can get everything done for the day, without paying the deposits, insurance, and other costs associated with traditional car rental.
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