Monday, October 22, 2018

Ride a bike, take Uber, walk. You may not miss your car.

This week the organization Nashville Connector has launched a Commuter Challenge asking downtown commuters to pledge to make at least one trip to work not driving alone during the week of Oct. 22-Oct. 28. I don't work downtown but if you do, I encourage you to try it.

I go downtown about once a week, sometimes more.  I am using my car less and less. Last time I went down town was last Wednesday to attend the First Tuesday event. I Uberred to the the event and walked back.  I try to get some exercise each day so I often walk for exercise. It was a pleasant day for a walk.  The fare to the event was about $8. When I drive, I park beneath the public library in that garage and get my ticket stamped at the library so the first hour is free. It still ends up costing me about $5 to park. Sometimes, I have to drive repeatedly around the parking garage waiting for someone else to leave in order to find a parking space.

Sometimes I go to Lower Broadway to listen to music and drink beer. From my house near the Wedgwood  Ave and  8th Ave intersection, to lower Broad is about two miles. I just checked the cost of an Uber fare. If  I was going right now at noon on Monday, October 22nd the fee for an UberX would be $7.53.  If I wanted to take the Uber Pool it would only be $4.58.

Actually, I usually walk when going to Lower Broad which is good exercise and free. Last time I went, I rode mys bicycle. If I am going with someone else, I Uber. If two people are sharing the $7.53 fee, it is cheap. To park near lower Broadway is about $20 and those parking spaces can be hard to find.  Another advantage of Ubering is that I do not have to monitor my beers in take so much. When driving, I carefully monitor to make sure I do not drink more than one beer an hour. When some one else is driving, I can enjoy an extra beer. Like Judge Kavanaugh famously said, "I like beer."

Uber is quick to respond, and catching an Uber at my house or downtown is almost always quick. My usual wait time is about two minutes.

Back in September, my daughter and I went on a weekend trip to Montreal. The trip to the airport was $13.34. The return trip was $15.42.  There is no way I could get there and back with less hassle and as cheap. Driving is a hassle and even leaving your car at a fly away lot is expensive.

I know if you live further out, to take Uber or Lyft can be more expensive, but if you have never tried it, you owe it to yourself to at least see what it would cost. Unless you have a free parking space downtown, taking an Uber may be cheaper than the cost of parking.

I know habits are hard to break, but if you start not driving you may find out you like not driving. Door to door service, no stress of driving, no looking for a parking space, no paying up to $20 to park or $20 to park and $2 for valet service are advantages of not driving.

The market and technology are providing solutions to congestion and traffic woes. There is much more the market and technology could do if government would become a welcoming partner rather than an obstacle. In the meantime, rather than just complain about traffic and parking and congestion, embrace what we already have.  I have not ridden one of the Lime or Bird scooters but last time I was biking, I saw lots of people using them. They are becoming a significant contributor to mobility without relying on ones own car.  So, I encourage you to try life without a car: Uber, Lyft, Lime, Bird, MTA bus service, bike, walk, carpool. It is not expensive and you may not miss your car.

Stumble Upon Toolbar
My Zimbio
Top Stories

No comments:

Post a Comment