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Transitioning To Carfree

02 Dec 2014, Posted by Kevin Montgomery in Brampton Cycling, Cycling Benefits - Economics

Transitioning To Carfree

Our family of 5 has been carfree in Brampton for 3 years. Selling our cars, and relying primarily on bicycles for transportation was not a decision made lightly. It was pragmatic, and thought through carefully. I will explain how we came to the decision, and how we transitioned into it, in this post.

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Reasons To Consider It

Our decision to sell our cars began with a single realization one day: It was less expensive to take the train to work than to pay for parking. It was a simple realization that brought profound positive change to our household budget. Taking the train instead of the car not only saved on parking, but on gas and maintenance costs. And that was before we sold it!

You might find that you have similar reasons for considering selling your car in Brampton and transitioning to carfree. Eliminating high insurance, and financing of the vehicle, are also compelling reasons. Concerns over environmental impact, and effects of sedentary lifestyles are equally concerning. Whatever the reason, many people express different reasons why selling their car and buying a bike is not possible.

Cars Are Tools

One of the sessions that 8-80 Cities teaches is about how “every trip begins and ends with a walk”. Cars, bicycles, and transit, are tools that allow people to expand capacity. As with any tool, it’s important to understand the right one for the job. Cars are very powerful, and offer a lot of capacity. How often do you need it? How often are all or most of the seats in your car occupied? How often is your trunk full?

“The capacity of a powerful tool like a car is often wasted.”

The Right Tool For The Job

Consider all the things you use a car for. The goal is to be objective: Is an alternative available? For example, many things can be done by bike either by bringing a trailer, or riding a cargo bike. Longer journeys can use public transit. Carshare is available for visiting communities where public transit is not present. The more you can divert from using the car, the more savings can be realized.

Here is a sample list of tasks where one might use their car, and the alternate modes to consider. Add your own tasks to this list as your circumstances require. Consider also the cost of using your car compared to another mode like cycling or transit.

TaskWalkingCyclingPublic TransitCarshare/Taxi
Commute To Work
Dropping Off Kids To School
Shopping
Add more items!

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Are you ready to consider transitioning to carfree in Brampton?

Kevin Montgomery is on Twitter (@kemosite)

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