Happy Car-Freeaversary to Me!

Transient

On July 30th, 2011, I made the life changing decision to sell my vehicle and go car-free.

I bought my first car at the age of fifteen. It was a bluey green Acura Integra with a sunroof and an aftermarket CD player. I thought it was the most badass thing on the planet. I used that car to pass my road test and get my drivers license, after which we were practically inseparable.

From the day I got my license to the moment I handed over the keys to my last car (a green Chevy Malibu, in case you were wondering) I was utterly dependent on my vehicle. Sure, I had used the bus to get to university and back and even dabbled in riding my bike to work, but for the most part I couldn’t imagine life without a car.

My decision to sell was born partly of financial necessity and largely because of this romantic vision I had of who I wanted to be. I had coworkers and friends who relied on bicycles for transportation, a lifestyle I wanted very much to emulate. I knew that giving up my vehicle would be inconvenient and that I would experience longer commutes to work, but I just didn’t care.

At first I relied heavily on the bus and my boyfriend at the time’s car. During that period of my life I was still too busy drinking and smoking cigarettes to make room for active transportation, which is a damn shame. Within six months of selling the car my relationship had ended and I began relying on the bus exclusively. A year and a half later I purchased a new bicycle (♥Tina♥) and began cycling to work/relying on my bicycle and my own two feet to get me almost everywhere.

Nowadays I walk everywhere in all seasons, cycle in the warmer months, and take the bus only when necessary. I love the activity that active transportation builds into my day and have struggled with whether or not to purchase a vehicle for the more inconvenient trips, such as grocery shopping or Ikea visits.

Enter: Peg City Car Co-op. I’ve known about Peg City for quite some time, having seen their vehicles pop up all over my neighbourhood in the past three years. Last week I decided that the anniversary of my liberation from vehicle ownership was as good a thing as any to celebrate, and I purchased a membership that will allow me to reserve and use any of the Peg City cars for $4/hr + $0.25/km. This solution will allow me to access a vehicle for those times that cycling or taking the bus isn’t an option without the financial burden of owning my own or the physical cost of giving up active transportation. In other words, I don’t have to buy a car, but I also don’t have to cab home from the grocery store anymore. It’s the best of both worlds!

If you’re interested in trying the co-op out for yourself you can check out their website here. They do have a referral program, so if you decide to sign up and mention my name I will receive a $25 driving credit.

I guess I'm not so much car-free anymore as car-sometimes...

Would you ever sell your vehicle, or do you already live without one? Why or why not?