I survived a year without a car

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The best part about living in a public transportation friendly city is ditching your car. I had a love hate relationship with my car. It was a tiny Toyota Yaris sedan. You could catch me sliding in a centimeter of snow, and it would squeak. Needless to say I was overjoyed to sell my beloved car. I say this in most of my posts, which might be kind of annoying, but in true list fashion, here are 7 things I have learned from not having a car for a year.

1. Not having to find parking ever again

Say goodbye to worrying about finding parking or paying for parking! Before moving to Chi city I used to live in Indianapolis and every time I drove downtown, it was always a hassle to find parking or having to pay for parking. 


2.     Feeling economic by using public transportation

It feels nice knowing that I’m doing one good thing for the environment by using my resources and not contributing negatively to the to the environment. It feels good to know that I’m not polluting the earth by driving or using up our natural resources.


3.     Supporting uber/lyft drivers

Who else wishes ride sharing was a thing a long time ago? Since the becoming of uber and lyft getting from point A to point B has become significantly easier and cheaper. I remember in College I had to take a taxi home. Granted I lived a mile away from the bar I was at yet my ride cost me $15. With an uber I’m sure it would have been half the price or less. I’m not being sponsored by uber or lyft in this post but I don’t think I would survive this #nocar life without it. 


4.     I got more exercise

A Little bit more walking can’t hurt. I used to walk about 30 seconds to my car, now I walk about 7 minutes to catch the bus and about 5 minutes to my office once I get off the bus. So roughly I add an extra 30 minutes of walking in my day especially. Spoiler alert: In the winter walking outside sucks.


5.     The elements suck

Like I mentioned before walking outside sucks. I didn’t think it would negatively affect me so much but I loathed being outside this past winter. I remember I missed a bus and was like nope not waiting 15 minutes in 3-degree weather, calling an uber/lyft. Basically in the winter I wish I had my own personal driver that chauffeured me everywhere.


6.     Leaving the city can be hard

If you don’t know I’m getting married next year. And our wedding is not in Chicago. Which has involved us visiting Indiana multiple times, which has been a bit of a hassle with out a car. I do take the Amtrak frequently, but it’s not the same of being on your own schedule and being able to leave as you please.


7.     I saved money, I think

I think I saved money or at least I should have. I was fortunate to not have a car payment. But I would fill my tank up at least once or twice a week so that’s about $40 in gas a week, that comes out to be about $160 a month on gas only. That doesn’t include car payment or car maintenance. Now I spend $100 a month on transportation. That does not include when I decide to uber/lyft somewhere. So I probably pay about $150 a month on transportation, which is way cheaper than having a car.

Whether your moving to Chicago or any big city with a good public transportation system I hope I have given you a realistic view on what it is like to go sans car. It literally is the most liberating thing ever. 


Stay Bubbly

-Ratanya Bowens