By Lee Hurley
According to nerdwallet.com, average car ownership costs were $8,469 a year, or about $706 a month, in 2017, according to AAA. That’s a lot of money. And yet since the introduction of automobiles in the early 1900s, owning one has become an expected part of the American dream. However, just like in so many other areas of life, technology has changed available transportation options and will continue to change more in the future. Still, getting to work is not about technology. It’s about reliability and getting paid. So here then are a few transportation options to help you get to work without owning your own car.
Ridesharing is one of the most transportation options in the world for high school students. It just works. Why not with work? Ask your co-workers if anyone would like to earn a little gas money by going slightly out of their way to pick you up? New to the job? Ask your HR person to put some feelers out. Getting a few bucks a week to help pay for gas may be just what one of your co-workers is hoping for. Of course there are some disadvantages. You can’t run errands at lunch. You need to be willing to leave when your ride leaves. But there are work arounds for that too.
Let’s say you have 4 people who are willing share driving duties? It would be cheaper to rent a car for one week each month than owning one yourself. It depends on where you live and many other factors but this is a transportation option if the cards line up. And if they don’t, then that means other transportation options are available.
In many mid-sized cities it’s common to have a bus pass by and no one be riding in it. It’s inexpensive, safe and reliable. So why not use it? Subways are also excellent ways to get from point A to point B. True you may have to walk a bit to get to a bus or the subway. But that’s just adding to your health (see below).
Bikes and E-Bikes
Again, this may or may not be the right transportation option for you. It all depends on where you live and how far you have to go. But how cool is it to actually get healthy while going to work? There are rental options for these, too.
Yes, walk. Believe me I get that most jobs aren’t close enough to walk. But maybe the bus is a 15 minute walk? The subway? A rideshare option? Walking adds years to your life by subtracting weight and is a de-stressor compared to sitting in traffic. Walking is moving closer to something. Remember this, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
One for Two
So you and your spouse both own/lease a car? Why not experiment for a few weeks with sharing one car? If it works sell, one. You’ll cut your expenses almost in half. It’s not always easy but people are like roaches. We adapt.
There are motorized/electric scooters and other small motorbikes that can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a car. Many are electric but even the motorized models will go forever on a tank of gas. This won’t work on an LA freeway, but they might be good transportation options in your community.
Uber and Lyft
Of course you have heard of Uber and Lyft and chances are strong you have used them. It may not be practical to take one of these every day both ways. But they can supplement one of the other plans discussed earlier. And here’s another dirty little secret; if you happen to have an Uber or a Lyft driver living nearby, perhaps you can make a deal on the side. It happens. Sorry Uber and Lyft.
Be an Uber or Lyft Driver
Yes this actually involves owning a car but should you decide to buy an automobile you can defray the costs of its ownership by adding 2 or 3 hours to your day giving people rides to or home from their work.
Don’t forget that almost every car company is working on driverless vehicles. Consider the options that will open up. One last consideration which may seem obvious but if so, clearly very few engage in this strategy. Consider moving closer to where you work or working closer to where you live. It could add years to your leisure time. And save you a lot of coin! Getting to work without a car offers several advantages like more money, better health, and less stress. Yes, it takes some planning and ingenuity but that’s the stuff we are made of.