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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 03-05-09, 12:01 PM   #1
Roody
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Taxi!

Do you ever catch a cab? Why or why not?
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Old 03-05-09, 12:15 PM   #2
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Not really unless I'm going to the airport, pretty expensive and there's usually better alternatives (cargo trailer, public transit)

But they work great for those emergencies which most people use as justification of why they need to keep their very-expensive-to-insure car around.

ie. take cat to emergency vet, transport awkward purchase home you might make once a year, return bicycle home from hospital after a bad crash (hope this one does not happen)

Of course I also live in a big city where its really easy to get a cab - no need to call ahead or any other hassle.
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Old 03-05-09, 12:18 PM   #3
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Occasionally, when with other people.

Because we're usually drunk and it's too late to catch a bus.
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Old 03-05-09, 02:54 PM   #4
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Just last week. I flew back to Little Rock from the Digital Signage Expo. The flight ran late and it was midnight before I had collected my luggage. The Airport Shuttle had closed up. The buses had stopped running hours before. It was late enough by Little Rock standards that we had to call the dispatcher from downtown and wait while cabs were dispatched.

The bus costs $1.40 to get me home from the airport. The Airport Shuttle costs $25.00 plus tip to get me home. The cab cost $32.50 plus tip.

We spent the trip talking about digital signage that fits in the taxi driver's headrest and digital signage that fits on the top of the taxi. But he did mention that he was fairly fresh out of the Marines, and his first civilian job was as a repo man.
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Old 03-05-09, 02:57 PM   #5
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Yep. Usually it's just to work, which is a short distance, but if I just don't feel like riding in (for example last week when it was 38 degrees, raining, and sustained winds of 25mph with gusts up to 40) I'll call a cab. I've taken it other places as well, but that's the main one.

The fare seems expensive at first, but relative to the money I am saving by not paying for and insuring a car, it's quite reasonable.
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Old 03-05-09, 03:58 PM   #6
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sometimes, yes.

they usually tell good stories too.
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Old 03-05-09, 05:05 PM   #7
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It has been decades since I used a cab. The main reason is I live rural and no public
transportation is available. I think outside of the major cites this will be the case.
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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 03-05-09, 06:24 PM   #8
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Strange thing about Des Moines is that you almost never see a cab. There are apparently only 3 cab companies in the city. If you phone one, it sounds like they are doing a credit check... I normally use them if I have to catch a plane... which isn't often.
Another strange thing is that there aren't any local couriers, either bike or foot or car couriers. At least I've never seen any.

When I moved from Canada I was spooked by this. No cabs? How do people drink?

I think the answer is that everyone has 5 cars in the garage and the beer has little or no alcohol in it.
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Old 03-05-09, 06:33 PM   #9
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When I was car free, I used cabs for ....

-- my twice-a-year major grocery shopping expedition ... I'd take the bus to the big grocery store, fill a cart to overflowing with all sorts of stuff, then call a cab to get me and all the stuff I bought home. The rest of the time I walked to and from a small local grocery store when I needed anything, but doing a major shop like that allowed me to pick up things like huge, heavy buckets of laundry soap which would last 6 months or a year.

-- trips to and from the airport for my flights, although sometimes friends and acquaintences would drop me off or pick me up.

-- trips to and from the vet with my cats, although sometimes I took my cats on the bus.

-- and when I burnt my foot to the bone, for the first couple days before I discovered home care nurses, I took a cab to and from the Drs office so they could do my daily dressing change. I also called a cab rather than an ambulance to get me to the hospital ... not sure why I didn't call an ambulance.
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Old 03-05-09, 06:41 PM   #10
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Cabs for me have been hit or miss. Around here they can take forever to come if they come at all. In Charleston, SC I had a deal with Black Cab Company...great folks, and neat cabs When I was in MSP I wanted a cab to avoid a 2.5 mile walk back to the motel carrying a couple growlers of brew pub product. I got some Muslim that refused to give me a ride because I had alcohol. Fortunately someone overheard my somewhat irate conversation and offered me a ride. I filed a complaint with the licensing board in that area, but somehow I don't think they really care.

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Old 03-05-09, 07:09 PM   #11
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... I filed a complaint with the licensing board in that area, but somehow I don't think they really care.
This is somewhat off-topic, but I'm interested in the efficacy of complaints to bodies like licensing boards. How did you make your complaint was it over the phone, in writing or on the web? Did they give you any reference number that could be used to follow up later? etc.
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Old 03-06-09, 05:36 AM   #12
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This is somewhat off-topic, but I'm interested in the efficacy of complaints to bodies like licensing boards. How did you make your complaint was it over the phone, in writing or on the web? Did they give you any reference number that could be used to follow up later? etc.
Initial complaint was over the phone, followed up by a snail mail letter. I got a form letter in response. I know the local board was checking into it and "negotiating" (IMHO you don't negotiate in a situation like this). I was not the only one, it has been an ongoing problem in the MSP area for quite a while. No reference number, just the names of the people I talked to.

Apparently in MSP many of the taxi drivers are Somalian and belong to a certain Muslim group/sect and their Imam is the one behind it. They are refusing service based on religious grounds and getting away with it. They were refusing service to anyone they felt was carrying alcohol or "might" have had something to drink. IMHO this wrong on so many fronts, especially when you are providing what is basically a public service. If I, as an American Caucasian were to do this I would be more than likely accused of racial profiling and have multiple civil suits filed against me, have my business boycotted and end up having to make a public apology and attend diversity training. Supposedly it has been dealt with, but I doubt it...only in America.

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"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 03-06-09, 05:42 AM   #13
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I take cabs once a year, the annual work Christmas drunken pub crawl. I mean party. By the time we're done, the last bus went 3 hours ago. Usually 4 or 5 of us get a taxi and split the 50 fare. The bus is 4.50.
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Old 03-06-09, 06:41 AM   #14
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I haven't used one yet, but I've considered it when I've been sick and needed to get to the doctor. I couldn't hardly ride, and god knows I can't take a bus in this town. But I haven't yet, and last time I went to the doctor I borrowed my mom's car, which I'd really rather not do.
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Old 03-06-09, 12:15 PM   #15
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I usually don't use cabs often at all, because my bike takes me wherever I want to go. Lately I've been using them extensively, due to an injury. I get out of work at 11:30 PM. The buses have quit running, and I'm scared enough of the crime in one neighborhood that I don't like to walk through it. (I feel like I have a better shot at avoiding crime when I'm on my bike in this neighborhood.) I don't ask co-workers for rides, because I think they start to resent it eventually.

So that leaves the cab. It is pricey--$10 for the 4 mile trip home. A co-worker asked me how I could afford it. I told him that even if I took the cab every night (which I don't), it would cost me about $200 a month. Then I asked him what his car payment and insurance ran every month. It was like a light went on in his head. "Wow--you really do save a lot of money by not having a car!"
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Old 03-06-09, 07:02 PM   #16
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Once a year - to take the cats to the vet.
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Old 03-06-09, 07:38 PM   #17
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So that leaves the cab. It is pricey--$10 for the 4 mile trip home. A co-worker asked me how I could afford it. I told him that even if I took the cab every night (which I don't), it would cost me about $200 a month. Then I asked him what his car payment and insurance ran every month. It was like a light went on in his head. "Wow--you really do save a lot of money by not having a car!"
People used to say the same thing to me when I rented a car a couple weekends a year. I'd pay the rental fee, plus the insurance, and would end up paying about $150 a weekend including rental, insurance, and fuel. Well, I figured $300 a year for a vehicle wasn't bad.
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Old 03-06-09, 07:58 PM   #18
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People used to say the same thing to me when I rented a car a couple weekends a year. I'd pay the rental fee, plus the insurance, and would end up paying about $150 a weekend including rental, insurance, and fuel. Well, I figured $300 a year for a vehicle wasn't bad.
That is about half of what most people spend every month...

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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 03-06-09, 08:08 PM   #19
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I rarely use cabs. If I have an appointment that can't be postponed when the temperatures are below 15 degrees fahrenheit I'll use them. I also use them to transport my dog to and from the veterinarian.

I will use one if I ever must transport something too bulky to carry on the bicycle. The year 2003 was the last time I did that. In 2006 I bought a car. In 2008 I sold it. The cost of cab fare even once a week for short trips is lower than car insurance for one year. I wrote about that in my book "How to Be Debt Free Fast!".
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Old 03-06-09, 09:39 PM   #20
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No because I have no need. I have a bicycle and a trailer.
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Old 03-06-09, 10:00 PM   #21
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No because I have no need. I have a bicycle and a trailer.
Before my recent cab ride, the last time I was in one was 1982.
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Old 03-06-09, 10:12 PM   #22
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Only to and from the air port. To and from the cruise ship. To and from the Amtrack station. However my community has started a program with some small vans called Dollar cabs. Seems as if they can take you anywhere in town for a dollar. Maybe it is two dollars I don't remember I have only just noticed them. Sounds reasonable to me.
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