|Eugene Area Bike Paths|
Now that Courtney and I live in a highly walkable neighborhood, in the middle of a very bike-able city, we have been seriously considering a car free lifestyle, and how we could drive so little that it would cost less to rent than to own. There would be some bike related expenses (a Burley trailer, e.g.), but the revenue from selling the car would more than cover them. We would need to plan any required car trips carefully in advance, and sign up for a benefits program with a car rental company (Eugene does not currently have an affordable flex-car program). But mostly, we would have to get accustomed to building just a little more travel time into our daily schedule.
|Carport of the Future|
As long as we can combine several trips into a day and hold our automobile use down to about two or three days per month, renting a vehicle for those trips is actually much less expensive than paying insurance and maintenance on a vehicle (we pay the gas either way). We also get the added benefit of always driving a car in perfect repair, and having the option to choose more fuel efficient vehicles as soon as they are available. In fact, it might not be long before rental companies are offering electric vehicles. In a way, this means we can vote for the most efficient vehicle as often as possible.
There a number of problems that having a car seems like the best solution to, but car ownership brings a whole mess of problems of its own. By avoiding the need for a car as much as possible, and renting on the few occasions that it is really necessary, we hope to avoid all of the problems of car ownership, save money on insurance and maintenance, and reduce our carbon footprint all in one fell swoop.