After a recent interview, I began to think about life without cars. Why is it we have become so dependent on cars? It has become a necessity. Until 14-years ago, I did not need a car. I have never owned a car when I lived in #India. First time we bought a car was when a baby was on the way.
In our little town, we can get by without a car. Many students do. I still walk around a bit, but not a whole lot like I used to. But, bus service is not available around the clock. You need a car or you need to know somebody who owns a car if you want to get things done after the hours of bus service has passed. I think of single moms who don’t have a car or even several women who are alone with kids, and without a car. It seems to me that the prospect of life without a car in America is tough.
During my research for Green Transport book, I read up a lot about the wonderful places where life was possible without a car. Right in #India, Matheran is a name I had heard in passing. This is only place in India where all motor vehicles are banned. If you are visiting India or living in India, you should visit this place. Matheran is the only place in India to ban all automobiles with in its boundary. Cool!
Click here for the Map of Matheran
Matheran it turns out is not alone. People all around the world are thinking about the question I have- Can we live without a car? If yes, what is the city or what are the people doing differently.
What is your answer to this question- can we live without a car? This is different from occasionally driving a car or hiring a cab or sharing a cab with many people. This question is connected to the very deep reason you think you can live with or without a car. What kinds of support would you need to live a life without car?
Before you watch the video, write down your opinion and start watching the video.
Has you opinion changed? Join the conversation and let us all know!
Notice, I only wrote about not owning a car. You can use alternate methods of transport to move around the place. Here is a fine example of how a person made the best use of a bicycle.
Traveling by public transport also reduces your own carbon footprint. But how much? It appears that is quite a substantial amount. Here is report that has done some calculations for you. Use of public transport and carbon neutral vehicles is also important.
First step in weaning away from a total car dependence could reduce the number of cars you own. Second step would to use the car judiciously. Consider that the car is a scarce resource and use it only when justified by basic necessity. For example, if you are doing a trip under 5 miles, you are alone, and it is not heavy duty errand, you could simply ride your bicycle. If there is a possibility of sharing rides with another commuter, you should consider that option too. If there is an option that lot of you can get your chores done, you should consider that option too. For example, if a family is heading towards a place 10-12 miles away, it will be more productive if all the tasks, for all the people, can be completed in the trip. This requires some creative planning and scheduling to ensure that everyone completes their task on time.
So, are you inclining towards relinquishing your car ownership? My answer is sometime, but I am not there yet. If public transport got better, I most certainly will consider that. What about you?