Solve it or get used to it

Think that it’s impossible to survive without a car? Automologist, LILY, begs to differ.

We have written about car-sharing and how eliminating car-ownership will reduce many direct and incidental costs. For the Montgomery’s from the 905-area in Canada, the decision to go car-less three years ago turned out to be a good one. Kevin and Emily wanted to be more engaged in raising their three kids and believed that cutting down additional worktime, which would have been required to finance the car, was the solution. Since they transformed from ‘driver’ to ‘passenger’, Emily has been able to become a stay-at-home mum; she takes the kids on the bus or train, and found that she could engage in conversations with her children during the ride.

Kevin and the children takes the bus to run an errand; image:

The process to becoming car-less was one that involved deliberate effort and proper planning for the family. They weighed both options: the time spent in commuting between home and work, and the cost of owning and maintaining a car versus the cost of owning a foldable bike, taking the train or bus, and walking. They went from two cars to one and then eventually without, so that they could adapt to a car-less life gradually. There was an obvious change to their lifestyle, habits and daily routine planning. No one in their community expected these white-collar professionals with three kids to go without a car, but they did, and they could afford what they could not before – the renovation of their house!

The Montgomery’s chosen lifestyle has piqued the interest of Canada’s online news site, The Star, which launched an online community survey to study common routes to work in the largest metropolitan area of Canada, GTA. Would the elimination of cars give us a better quality of life? I believe there will be more studies on this issue when social challenges arise from the increased road population.

“Solve it or Get Used to It” has become a maxim for modern city living, due to the demanding and fast-paced chores and routine; if you pause and ponder: how many of us work to own a car? Perhaps if we do not have ‘that car’, we actually do not need to work that hard. In other words, we would need to “sacrifice” less – of our time with loves ones or our health, for instance – to own that car. Many times we choose to “solve the problem” without considering the weightage of our choices; and to avoid inconvenience, we tend to pick the path of “get used to it”. But maybe the route less travelled, is a better route after all.

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