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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 03-22-14, 09:52 AM   #76
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Less time lost? Lower stress? Better health? I guess you never used public transport to get in and out of central London at rush hour.
I've only ridden it a couple of times as a tourist and it was brutal. But how does it compare to driving?
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Old 03-23-14, 02:07 AM   #77
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Maybe upload or send a news channel a video of the bus leaving just as the boat docks?
Some of the people who run the ferry are really, really mean. Machka and I were locked off the ferry recently simply because we weren't familiar with the ticketing processes for bicyclists. It was a nasty confrontation. I still have to travel that ferry twice a day. The individuals involved from the ferry company are still belittling us over the radio and with snotty comments here and there. Putting something up on a news channel would only make things worse.

It's a bad situation, and frankly, I can do without the emotional issues associated with confrontation like that.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:00 PM   #78
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People who own cars usually save money by taking advantage of using the car they are paying for anyway instead of taking a bus or other public transit. If car-insurance was charged according to odometer-reading, the way utilities charge according to meter-readings, taking the bus would lower drivers' car-insurance bill for the month, which would incentivize the choice.

Currently car-insurance typically offers some discount based on how many miles are driven but the savings are built into the overall contract rate so the direct savings per-mile not driven isn't clearly evident. If people knew they would automatically save $3/day on car insurance by buying a $3 all-day bus pass, they might opt for the bus more often simply to get a break from driving and have a little variety in how they commute and travel.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:42 PM   #79
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If people knew they would automatically save $3/day on car insurance by buying a $3 all-day bus pass, they might opt for the bus more often simply to get a break from driving and have a little variety in how they commute and travel.
In New Jersey, you don't pay lower rates by taking advantage of public transit. However, if you tell them you're driving to work, your monthly primiums go waaaaay up. You have to be honest because if you do get into an accident during rush hour, they may deny paying some or all the bill!
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Old 03-24-14, 08:48 PM   #80
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I'm wondering, if fares go up and ridership goes down, where are those lost riders going? They still need to get to work. Do higher transit fares raise car trips as much as they lower pubic ridership, or are these people finding rides with existing drivers, car-pooling, bicycles, etc.? And do the lost riders eventually come back to public transit anyway?
I suspect if fare go up, the riders who stop taking the bus are basically school kids and weekend riders. If you have a job, an increase in the fare box is not going to stop you from commuting.
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Old 03-25-14, 04:11 AM   #81
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In New Jersey, you don't pay lower rates by taking advantage of public transit. However, if you tell them you're driving to work, your monthly primiums go waaaaay up. You have to be honest because if you do get into an accident during rush hour, they may deny paying some or all the bill!
Same/similar to in Manitoba.

In Manitoba there are two insurance packages you can get ... commuter or leisure (they probably call them something else, but that's the idea). If you commute with your car, you pay a large amount for vehicle insurance. If you just use your car on weekends and maybe occasionally during the week, you pay a significantly lower amount.
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Old 03-25-14, 08:04 AM   #82
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I don't drive to work and our car was registered as a "pleasure" vehicle, but my daughter (who can usually walk to work), sometimes has to start at 6 am and on those days she drives. I told the insurer and the extra premium was $175/year.
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Old 03-25-14, 12:57 PM   #83
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I don't drive to work and our car was registered as a "pleasure" vehicle, but my daughter (who can usually walk to work), sometimes has to start at 6 am and on those days she drives. I told the insurer and the extra premium was $175/year.
That's pretty steep. How many trips would be a "break even" compared to a taxi?
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Old 03-25-14, 06:22 PM   #84
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That's pretty steep. How many trips would be a "break even" compared to a taxi?
For just the add on? in my case maybe 3 or 4. Last time I took a taxi it was $25...one way.

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Old 03-25-14, 09:21 PM   #85
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That's pretty steep. How many trips would be a "break even" compared to a taxi?
Probably about 15. I thought it was cheap. She has free parking at work.

EDIT: in this case, since we already own the car, I'm not sure there's a good reason to use a cab instead of the car. Both involve driving a vehicle.

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Old 03-26-14, 01:24 AM   #86
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The most important reason why people don't take bus is they are over crowded. Many a times the bus carry more people than they are allowed to. 75% of bus users are daily travelers.
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Old 03-26-14, 07:53 AM   #87
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The most important reason why people don't take bus is they are over crowded. Many a times the bus carry more people than they are allowed to. 75% of bus users are daily travelers.
It varies from place to place. In some downtown areas the buses are more frequent but might be too crowded for many people. However the fact that they are crowded means they are meeting a demand. In a suburban area they are often much less frequent, and run half-empty because people don't want to wait, or there isn't a bus near their house, or the trip is too long and roundabout and disjointed to work for them.
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Old 03-26-14, 07:03 PM   #88
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75% of bus users are daily travelers.
I've always wondered about this. I do see daily travelers on the bus... but there are also a number of people who only use it in bad weather (like me...).

Just noticing my route... there are probably more than half the users with monthly card passes.
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Old 03-26-14, 07:08 PM   #89
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The most important reason why people don't take bus is they are over crowded. Many a times the bus carry more people than they are allowed to. 75% of bus users are daily travelers.
This is why it's idea to live near the begining or end of the line. This way you can always have a seat! This is what I do and have no regrets. However, if you do live near the end of the line, it means you'll have a longer commute returning home.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:13 AM   #90
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Same/similar to in Manitoba.

In Manitoba there are two insurance packages you can get ... commuter or leisure (they probably call them something else, but that's the idea). If you commute with your car, you pay a large amount for vehicle insurance. If you just use your car on weekends and maybe occasionally during the week, you pay a significantly lower amount.
In the UK usage always used to be defined as "social, domestic and pleasure" which included going to and from a regular place of employment (as brokers said, it's a great pleasure to drive to work). When I wanted to downgrade my SDP policy to SDX (social domestic and pleasure excluding going to work) I got the third degree from the broker over getting to work. So I said I took the train and they wanted to know how I got to the station. When I said I walked to the station they wrote my SDX policy, which saved a bit of money. Not a whole lot, but it all counts.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:14 AM   #91
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I've only ridden it a couple of times as a tourist and it was brutal. But how does it compare to driving?
I haven't driven myself in and out of town at rush hour but have ridden taxis a few times. The main advantage of being in a private vehicle is you get to decide for yourself what temperature you want, what you listen to, and you don't find yourself pressed into someone's armpit or distastefully close to someone who hasn't washed in a week.
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Old 03-27-14, 03:20 AM   #92
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Also, it has been shown many times that if you raise fares you lose passengers, resulting in no net increase in revenue for buses or other public transit.
Not if those passengers lack options. London public transport prices rise relentlessly for a service that doesn't get any better despite the endless investment we are assured is going into it. The rush hour trains are still so full it's far from rare to see people waiting for the next one because they physically can't get onto this one.
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Old 03-27-14, 06:34 AM   #93
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I haven't driven myself in and out of town at rush hour but have ridden taxis a few times. The main advantage of being in a private vehicle is you get to decide for yourself what temperature you want, what you listen to, and you don't find yourself pressed into someone's armpit or distastefully close to someone who hasn't washed in a week.
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London public transport prices rise relentlessly for a service that doesn't get any better despite the endless investment we are assured is going into it. The rush hour trains are still so full it's far from rare to see people waiting for the next one because they physically can't get onto this one.
Hey, I have a solution! Stop investing in public transport, close down the Tube, prohibit buses and bicycles from the city center and go over to an American-style car-centric system. That'll solve your problems! No more waiting. No more smelly passengers to put up with. (After all, who can be bothered to move away from an odoriferous rider?) Paradise! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

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Old 03-27-14, 08:27 AM   #94
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I commuted via foot, bus, and the BART system for over a year during the mid '90s while living in the CA Bay Area. And while BART was very reliable back then, the bus system was not. The buses were almost always late for some reason. And it was fairly common for nearly empty buses to "miss" the stop altogether (even though people were obviously waiting). This inexcusable reliability more than doubled the average commute time over that of driving. What took 20 - 30 minutes to drive (one way) often required more that an hour and 15 minutes of my time while using the bus and BART systems.

At the time I was an CA auto emissions technician that initially believed there was "a better way" to commute than driving a vehicle. However, I just could not afford to lose an hour and a half per day while riding the bus and BART to work. This, and the fact that I was actually spending more money while using public transit, forced me to revert to commuting by car.
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Old 03-27-14, 08:50 AM   #95
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Hey, I have a solution! Stop investing in public transport, close down the Tube, prohibit buses and bicycles from the city center and go over to an American-style car-centric system. That'll solve your problems! No more waiting. No more smelly passengers to put up with. (After all, who can be bothered to move away from an odoriferous rider?) Paradise! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?
Either that or provide a public transport system that doesn't make a medieval cattle truck look like a more appealing mode of transport?
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Old 03-27-14, 09:00 AM   #96
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This may be an idea for a new thread, and I bet it'd bomb b/c primary research doesn't seem too popular here, but what if a small sample of LCF contributors recorded their commute by bike, and compared that time to what they could achieve using a bus? That might answer this thread's original question objectively, if only on the micro-level.

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Old 03-27-14, 09:45 AM   #97
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I don't drive to work and our car was registered as a "pleasure" vehicle, but my daughter (who can usually walk to work), sometimes has to start at 6 am and on those days she drives. I told the insurer and the extra premium was $175/year.

Thats actually cheap compared to standard rates. It might shock some people to find out what people in Toronto pay for car insurance.

For myself, I live in a suburb of Toronto, Brampton, which has the highest insurance costs in the country. I pay almost as much in insurance as I pay for my car payments(brand new mazda3). Part of that is Brampton, part of that is the 40km each way commute.

Where I am now, difficult and expensive to not drive to work. I would have to take an inter city bus and then subway, or take the inter city train then subway. The former would add 30 minutes to the commute (each way), the latter 60 minutes. I do not want to spend 4 hours travelling a day.

Before I got my current job, I had a contract position downtown, and it was heaven. Five minute drive or 20 minute cycle to a train station, 35 minutes on the train (much less stressful than driving) and a 10 minute walk from the train station. I wish I could be in that position again.
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Old 03-27-14, 10:15 AM   #98
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Another bus data point or two:

Back in the late-90s, I flew out for work to a trade show in Los Angeles. I took a week of vacation time right after to ride back to Maine by bus, Greyhound's Ameripass ticket, which lets you get on any bus going anywhere for a set amount of time. I got the 10 day ticket to cover both weekends. I'd not call it the most pleasant vacation I ever had, but it was entertaining, I very much enjoyed the ride, and it allowed for visits to friends in far-flung places.

My soon-to-be-ex- was headed down to Mexico this past winter and ran into all kinds of issues trying to fly out of the Northeast. The third time her flight was cancelled, she opted for the bus and had a great experience. Says she will definitely be traveling by bus in the future for longer trips, instead of flying. Once she got across the border, the slightly dumpy Greyhound buses were swapped for swanky luxo-buses Mexican bus companies use.

Just as with cycling, trains and especially subways, many other countries put USA systems to shame.
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Old 03-27-14, 11:01 AM   #99
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This may be an idea for a new thread, and I bet it'd bomb b/c primary research doesn't seem too popular here, but what if a small sample of LCF contributors recorded their commute by bike, and compared that time to what they could achieve using a bus? That might answer this thread's original question objectively, if only on the micro-level.
Well... could we count perceived time? My commute by bike seems a lot shorter than the bus ride, although if I carried a watch I might be surprised.

For that reason, I never carry a time device and all time reports are approximate.
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Old 03-27-14, 11:52 AM   #100
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I haven't driven myself in and out of town at rush hour but have ridden taxis a few times. The main advantage of being in a private vehicle is you get to decide for yourself what temperature you want, what you listen to, and you don't find yourself pressed into someone's armpit or distastefully close to someone who hasn't washed in a week.
Obviously a cab is more comfortable than a crowded subway, (and far more expensive) but can it get you where you need to go in time, or is is it bogged down in gridlock?

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