I’ve owned a car since I was 19. Until today.
As an experiment, I’ve sold my Prius and will live without a car in Baltimore City. Since my job involves planning for more sustainable neighborhoods and transportation options, I suppose this is “walking the walk”. Though ideology was part of the decision, financial considerations weighed even more heavily:
|Monthly cost item||Car||Car-less|
|Rental Car/Car Share||$0||$50|
|Car Maintenance (disaggregated)||$50||$0|
These figures do not include catastrophic, out-of-warrenty repair items which are difficult to forecast, parking tickets (lots of them!), and meters/garages. In a conservative estimate, $5000 will be saved a year. This is a journey around the world. Part of a down payment on a house. Or money donated to a good cause.
I’ll be chronicling some of my observations about living without a car in Baltimore. I don’t think I’m under any illusions about the impact this will have on my life. I’m sure there will be times when I wish I could just hop in the car and go. Having a car in the U.S. makes life really, really convenient. But maybe writing about this experience will shed a little light on what few Americans outside of NYC and a handful of other cities consider – living without a car in a country which was largely designed for them.