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8 DITCH ALL CARS (GO CAR-FREE)

This action focuses on going car-less for all transport (no personal cars, car shares, or taxi cabs) to focus on alternative options of transport: public transportation, biking and walking.

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why?

Making the commitment to go car-less (including car shares) can completely change the way you experience transportation. Many people may be concerned that eliminating the use of cars will take away the freedom of mobility that comes with having a car, and would be surprised to find how equally convenient it is to take public transit, bike or walk to the places you are trying to go.

Going car-less can also save you a lot of money. Costs of insurance, car payments, gas and maintenance are the most obvious costs to disappear, but there are also ‘hidden’ costs of driving including parking fees, crash damages, and land use/environmental costs. An excellent summary of how much driving a car costs compared to public transit from Livable Places is found here: The Cost of Car Ownership. Another more detailed summary of all costs associated with having a car can be found here: The Cost of Driving. Even the Wall Street Journal has had its say on going car-less in this article: A Real Auto Bailout: Escape Your Car.


how to do this action:

STEP 1: DETACH YOURSELF FROM YOUR CAR!

If you are committed to eliminating use of cars in the long term, look for ways to sell or donate your car to charity.

Equally valuable would be using the term of this project to test out being car-less as a ‘trial period’. If you are using the project to test out your commitment to going car-less, a good idea would be to store it at a friend or family members house for the duration of the project. This will eliminate temptation to use your car entirely!

STEP 2: EXPLORE YOUR ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS.

This action allows use of any form of public transit, bicycling, or walking, instead of driving. For more information about each of these alternative modes of transportation see the links to actions below:

BIKE
WALK
BUS
STEP 3: DOCUMENT YOUR EXPERIENCE GOING CAR-LESS.

The ‘WHAT WILL BE MEASURED’ section below outlines how to track miles traveled using alternative modes of transit, as well as the struggles and benefits of going car-less.


what will be measured?

KEY QUESTIONS

QUANTITATIVE QUESTION: What percentage of transportation energy can be saved when eliminating use of all cars (including car share and carpooling) and using forms of public transit, bicycling and walking?

QUALITATIVE QUESTION: How does the experience of going car-free affect happiness, convenience, health, and costs?

BASELINE WEEK TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
During the baseline tracking week before the project begins, use the corresponding spreadsheet (T8_BASELINE) to track the mileage you currently commute by each mode (bike, walking, car, bus...) daily.

QUALITATIVE


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria on the spreadsheet (T8_BASELINE) as it relates to your current transportation habits:

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE TRACKING

QUANTITATIVE
Use the corresponding spreadsheet (T8_QUANTITATIVE) to track the miles your traveled using each mode of alternative transportation (car share, bus, bicycle, walking) daily. The spreadsheet will calculate the energy used (in gallons of gas and MJ) of each day’s transportation.

QUALITATIVE
Part 1 - Ranking


Qualitative Scale

Using the above scale as a visual, rate each of the following criteria, every IMPLEMENTATION day on the spreadsheet (T7_QUALITATIVE) Your answers should not be rated in comparison to your baseline week, but in general as a reflection of how you are feeling.

  • 1. SATISFACTION/HAPPINESS
    (Overall, how much enjoyment or dissatisfaction do you get out of doing and completing this behavior?)

  • 2. CONVENIENCE
    (How easy/difficult and accessible/inaccessible is this behavior for you to do and complete?)

  • 3. HEALTH
    (How healthy/unhealthy and safe/unsafe does this behavior make you feel?)

  • 4. COST
    (How much does this behavior cost? Use positive numbers for being above average and negative numbers for being below average and zero for being average.)

Part 2 - Blogging
Keep a narrative log of your experiences changing this action in your life. How did the experience of going car-free change your experience of transportation? What were the benefits of changing this habit in your lifestyle? Did you feel as if you sacrificed? Why or why not? What kinds of alternative transportation did you use most often and why?


resources

Wall Street Journal article: A Real Auto Bailout: Escape Your Car.

An excellent summary of how much driving a car costs compared to public transportation from Livable Places: The Cost of Car Ownership.

ACTION SPREADSHEETS

The spreadsheets referred to above can be found in the Excel file at the following link:

T8_Ditch All Cars Spreadsheet

If you prefer to enter your responses by hand, printable PDFs of each spreadsheet can be found at the following links (at the end of the project, all data will have to be entered into the Excel spreadsheet):

T8_BASELINE
T8_QUANTITATIVE
T8_QUALITATIVE