Car-less in LA

While sitting on the Metro Gold Line and flipping through a magazine I saw a car ad that read...

the car you drive says a lot about you. the car you don't drive may say even more.

After getting over how ridiculous the ad was , I realized that I hadn't shared the news of my new car-less life!

What's that? Impossible you say? Not at all. While having a car at your beck and call makes things easier, it may not always be necessary.

I moved to Downtown in December  '09 and that's when my car began to sit idle 90% of the time while I still forked out the cash for parking, insurance, maintenance, and gas on a monthly basis. I was paying for the convenience of knowing I could get in my car and "go".  With the decrease in driving, my tolerance for it also took a dive. All of this combined with a desire to save money and I knew I had a decision to make.

After getting better acquainted with public transportation and signing up for a local car share program, LAX CarShare, I was ready to let go and let someone else take the wheel.

It's been incredible to not own a car. Sure it takes some more time and planning but when the need arises, I simply rent one by the hour through the car sharing program. Otherwise, there's the Metro (rail and buses) that gets me to most places I need/want to go, my bike is great for quick trips, and I get more exercise by walking.

I used to think that being car-less in LA was impossible and that I didn't have time to spend on public transportation. However, I find myself with much more time than before. I can read, do emails, or simply relax. No need to pay attention to the road. Plus, its nice to be connected to the world and other people rather than sitting in your own bubble.

Admittingly living Downtown makes the option more convenient (as does having a boyfriend you're always with anyhow) but it ultimately comes down to choices. I'm very happy to no longer pay attention to ads promising a better life with a purchase of a car. Sometimes not having those luxuries can have the same effect.