Eric Roper at the Star Tribune writes an autobiographical lifestyle piece: Minneapolis man survives – and thrives – without a car. I am quoted:
“The transit system works reasonably well if you’re going to go downtown, or to one of the downtowns,” said Prof. David Levinson, a transportation expert at the University of Minnesota. “There’s relatively fewer cross-connections. So if you’re not going to downtown, but you want to go from Point A to Point B, Car2Go might very well be faster.”
Not for everyone
Going carless isn’t for everyone, of course. I happen to live along a transit corridor and not far from where I work. Many people in the Twin Cities have long commutes to and from the suburbs and rely on their cars to get their children to the soccer game and the orthodontist.
“Kids plus no car seems like a Triple Lindy level of difficulty,” one Twitter follower told me when I asked about managing without a car.
Not everyone has the mobility to ride a bike, and the bus system isn’t convenient if you work in a location that’s off the beaten track.
“A lot of it just depends on how you arrange your life,” said Levinson, whose five-member family owns one car. “In the city it is very different than in the suburbs because there’s a lot more choices in the city itself. I think that it [being without a car] is certainly more possible now because of Car2Go than it was previously. Places that were accessible by transit, but inconveniently, are now less inconvenient.”
But for some urban families, the growing number of transportation options may mean the ability to get rid of a car — or even two.
They just might find — as I did — the many intangible benefits to becoming car-free.