If you’re wondering, “why go car-free,” perhaps you should instead consider the question, “why drive?” There are many benefits to walking, biking and transit, just like there are benefits to driving. If your transportation choices have an impact on your health, your wallet and the environment, then be sure to be intentional in those decisions. Many people who go car-free arrived at the choice simply by re-examining habits they take for granted. If you’re willing to challenge your assumptions about your travel habits, you may find that foregoing car ownership will actually improve your quality of life.
- It costs the average American over $700/month to own and operate a car (according to the AAA 2010 edition of ‘Your Driving Costs’). And costs are only going up with the price of gas.
- An unlimited rides pass on the CTA costs $86/month.
- In the Chicago region, the average household spends 27% of their income on transportation, compared on 28% on housing (CNT, Penny Wise Pound Fuelish). You may think it’s too expensive to live in a neighborhood where you won’t need a car, but the transportation savings may more than make up for the difference.
- Read more: Chicago Without a Car: Do the Math
Health & Safety
- Transit-riders may be three times more likely than drivers to meet the US Surgeon General’s suggested 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day — simply because of the daily walks to and from train and bus stations. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090326134014.htm)
- If you’re too concerned about the dangers of walking and biking in the city to get out of your car, then it’s possible you’re not taking the risks of driving seriously. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 3-34. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810936.PDF)
“Benefits of Carfree Living” by Lee Crandell is licensed under CC BY