As you have guessed from the title, I have made it six months without a car. Here are the highlights:
March- sold the car and used car share/car rentals about once a week. Mostly for groceries and because I NEEDED TO HAVE A CAR. There was a smidge of anxiety those first two weeks without a car. Especially since most people were reminding me regularly I was crazy for selling my car and not getting a new one.
April- continued using the cars and exploring the bus system. It was still gig season so for the most part when I had orchestra I was getting a car. Looking back now, I realized it was mostly because I was worried the bus wouldn’t get me to a rehearsal or concert on time. Looking back now, I realize that was not a necessary concern.
May/June- started spending less on Carshare and fewer rentals. I also spent more time in Denver than I have the entire time I have lived in CO. The bus there was far easier than driving and paying for parking!
July- I practically overdosed on car usage. There were a lot of weekend gigs. There was a week where I was house/dog sitting, working at a camp that was an annoying bus ride away. During that week I didn’t really have time between each activity to get where I needed to go. After finding out that every car in Boulder was rented, I found out I could use Carshare for a few days in a row, similar to a rental. By the end of the 3 days I was tired of driving. Yes, it saved me time but anxiety and general annoyance on the road came back very quickly. This was definitely the worst car month and I am trying my best to avoid a repeat of this type of month.
August- one car share for 2 hours. I was only in the car for about an hour of that. AN HOUR DRIVING A CAR in an entire month! This was by far my favorite car free month. I hope to duplicate this month as much as possible while I can be car free.
September- Orchestra season is starting up again and I know more bus routes. So for the in town concerts and rehearsals I think I will be able to just use the bus. For out of town rehearsals a combo of car share and car pooling will likely be the route I go. Looking back in April, I could have used more car share and less car rental. But I don’t think I realized how little I truly needed a car at that point. I was just excited to drive something that didn’t have the potential to leave me stranded.
For now there are still some days I wish for a car so I could be lazier. Then I quickly do calculations about car payments, gas prices and insurance and I happily continue walking wherever I am headed. With the exception of a couple of friends, everyone is within a bus-able range. Over the past six months I have realized how much excess there is involved in having a car. I watch people speed past as I am walking to my destination and often wonder, “do you REALLY need that car mister speedy person?” Yes, by all means there are a lot of reasons to own a car and in this culture there are many places my lifestyle is not possible. But in honor of my six months without a car, will you at least think about whether you really need to run that errand, or use the car for that trip next time you walk out the door?