Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Who Needs a Car in L.A.? We Have the Best Public Transportation System in the World

I hate driving. I really, really, do. For a while now I've been looking into alternatives. This week was declared "no driving week" and I've tried to stick to it. Monday was easy: I didn't go anywhere. Tuesday Anna drove me to a fun outing, but today was different. Today I needed to go grocery shopping.

So I used Google maps to plan my route using Sunland Public transportation (har har. Yeah, I know, it's on oxymoron). The good part was is the bus stop is close, and has a route directly to a grocery store. The bad part is the bus only comes once per hour, so if you miss a bus it's an hour long wait.

Today I hoped to make the 9:06 bus so I left the house all ready to go shopping when I left to walk to a doctor's appointment. Sadly, the appointment went longer than expected, so I missed the 9:06 bus. I went home, Ash got into the backpack, we played, cleaned and then headed out the door. We found the stop, waited, boarded the correct bus, paid in exact change and got off at the correct stop. I was just beginning to feel accomplished and self sufficient, when I opened my backpack and discovered I had forgotten to re-pack my purse. Meaning I didn't have any money for groceries, or for the return bus ride. Oh noes.

Thankfully Mandy had called me before I left and told me to call her if I got stuck. I was stuck, so I called her. She came to my rescue and saved the day. I finished grocery shopping and since the bus didn't come for another thirty minutes Ash and I hung out in the pet store looking at birds and mice and chinchillas. Afterward I once again found the correct bus stop, boarded the correct bus, paid in exact change and got off at the correct stop. It was a successful day, I just wish I wasn't so scatterbrained. Yeash.

But it was good enough that I will do it again. I think the bus is a great way to get the few places on the bus route. For everything else: well, that's still a problem.


  1. A good way to avoid that money issue (to a degree) is to put a certain amount of cash (say $20) in your pocket when you wake up in the morning as part of your waking up routine, or to have that amount of cash in several different bags and just never remove it. Call it your emergency money. $20 doesn't cover groceries but it should cover a ride home in most cases if you are ever in big trouble. Plus, as an added bonus, losing $20 is painful but not the end of the world, and if you get robbed you have money in two different locations. Which may or may not help. I dunno, I've never been robbed.

    I biked to work today in my goal to reduce car driving to 2 days a week instead of everyday. It was nice and fun. Huzzah for car-less lives!

    Next up? Hanging out at the library in my spare time. It's nice because it's on the way to work.

  2. Oh, I wanted to add:

    The other way to avoid forgetting stuff is to get into the habit of physically touching your basics before leaving the house. Before I leave the house I always touch my phone, my wallet, and my keys. I don't walk out the door until I am sure all three are on me. You may wish to make a sign to such an effect?

  3. That is an awesome idea! I l will now have to touch everything before I leave the house. That is brilliant.

  4. Here are sevral things you may want to consider or find out:

    1. Can you live without car even if you may have to travel far/different town?

    - Maybe the answer is yes, but at the same time, you have to rely on other people. I realized that 2 or 3 times may be ok, but if it becomes many times, people will start get annoyed with it.

    2. The research may show you that you spend a lot of money on your car. How about how much are you really spending on your car including gas, oil and repairs?

    - Probably a third or max a half of what the research showed you.

    3. How about the opportunity cost for you?

    - Spending time for all you do is not as "expensive" as not using a car in your life?

    I guess I can go on and on and on to show my opinion about it. But the bottom line is you are the one excercise your agency. But personaly, it is not worth doing it. Maybe it is a good idea to limit the use of a car (since many people use a car too much for a little distance). Extream is not the answer to any questions, but balance is the answer for them (again, my thought).


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