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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 07-14-14, 03:39 PM   #51
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Thats why I generally prefer the bus. I think I mentioned earlier that in over 300 interurban bus trips, my bus was late only a handful of times. Other bonuses are that the bus costs only about half as much as the train, and seems to serve a lot more locations.
I've been taking the train to work every day for the past seven years or so, and I can only blame Renfe (the state-owned Spanish railway company) for arriving late twice: once when a bridge was washed away during a storm, and another time when a train broke down. The high-speed AVE trains are so reliable that passengers are guaranteed that they will arrive on time. If they are more than five minutes late on the Madrid-Seville line, they are given a full refund. What a shame the US is incapable (or unwilling) to provide better service!
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Old 07-14-14, 06:06 PM   #52
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I lived on a busy street for years. The collision I had while backing out of the driveway affected my insurance rate and my decision of where to live next. I automatically excluded all main roads from my search and passed on some houses on streets with too much traffic. That is less of an issue now without a car, and the smaller lots in this neighborhood make it noisier, but I am mostly satisfied with my choice within the limits of my budget.
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I seemed to have spent much of my life at the end of a cul de sac. I like that, and we are about to move to another cul de sac location.

I point-blank refuse to be on a busy main road. I was once, and some idiot ran into the back of my old car parked legally on the road, and never paid for the considerable damage. I swore then never again.

Yes, the "busy main road" is definitely a consideration when we've chosen a place to live.

In our previous town, our first house was on one of the main roads through town, and we hesitated over that decision a little bit because of that, but when we looked closely at the area, we realised that the traffic would likely die right off in an evening because the road became a twisty back way to get to the next town (not great for evening/night driving), and that we were far enough from the downtown area (about 500 metres) that it wouldn't be so busy where we were. And we were right ... by about 7 pm there was almost nothing on that road.

Our next house was near a school, and got a bit busy around 8:30 am and 3:00 pm, but that didn't bother us, and other than that, it was very quiet. Being within the 40 km/h school zone was also nice ... even though that's only for certain time periods, traffic tended to travel quite slowly most of the time.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:13 PM   #53
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No one considering proximity to a theme park, as priority?
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I can't even think of a theme park here in Tasmania or in Victoria. Maybe they exist and I just haven't noticed.


Edit: Rowan just reminded me of one in Melbourne. We've walked past it several times.

Luna Park
Home | Luna Park Melbourne
The average house price in that immediate area runs about $900,000 and just adjacent to it, the houses soar to over $2 million. So you'd want to have lots of pocket change if living near a theme park were a priority.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:14 PM   #54
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I have a gratis, shuttle van that takes me, 2 hours each way, to the Portland VA Hospital,
main source of my medical care ..

It leaves from a Parking lot almost across the street. at 7AM.. scheduled a week ahead.

2 blocks away, seen out windows on 3 sides is the Columbia River,
and 10 miles to the west is the Pacific Ocean.

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Old 07-14-14, 07:19 PM   #55
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... [various whinging] ...

... most people would be more interested in talking about choosing a place to live that enables using a car less.

So Roody ...


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With your car-free or car-light lifestyle in mind …

How did you go about choosing the place you live now?

You're big on being car-free ... what features about your current place appealed to you so that you could continue living your car-free lifestyle?

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Old 07-14-14, 07:25 PM   #56
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Regarding car-rentals ... one of the things that appealed to me about where I lived in Winnipeg was the fact that there were several car-rental dealerships (or whatever they are called) quite close by. I didn't pick the place because of that, but discovered it after I ceased owning a car. I had the option to move a few times, but that was one of many reasons why I stayed in that particular location for as long as I did.


And that was one difficulty with living in the small town in Victoria ... the nearest car rental place was some distance away (70 km). We might have considered not owning a vehicle there and renting one when we needed it, but acquiring a rental car was a journey in itself.

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Old 07-14-14, 10:59 PM   #57
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I've done the train trip from LA to Vancouver, and will never do it again either way. It is way too unreliable (something like 10 hours late to arrive). That's the penalty of a passenger service on a freight line for much of the way.
I've ridden Amtrak on numerous occasions in several different parts of the country, and it's never been late for me. Air travel, on the other hand...I've only flown a handful of times in my life, and one of those times the flight was diverted to another city overnight, so we arrived the day after we were supposed to. But the longest travel delay I ever experienced was -- you guessed it -- driving. The car died in the middle of nowhere and I had to wait a day and a half for repairs to be finished. My one-day trip was turned into three days.

I don't think it's inevitable that sharing the rails with freight trains will cause delays. Bay Area commuter trains share rail with freight, and that doesn't affect the schedule. If the trains are late, it's usually because of either police action or someone launching themselves in front of the train and dying.
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Old 07-14-14, 11:25 PM   #58
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I don't think it's inevitable that sharing the rails with freight trains will cause delays. Bay Area commuter trains share rail with freight, and that doesn't affect the schedule. If the trains are late, it's usually because of either police action or someone launching themselves in front of the train and dying.
Well, on my Sacramento - Eugene trip, I (and a whole room full of other people) asked a few different Amtrak employees why the train was so horrendously late, and was told it was because they shared the track with freight trains who had the right-of-way. So, they explained to me, the Amtrak train ended up sitting along side the track for hours on end waiting for the freight trains to go by, and they never knew if the Amtrak train was going to be able to run on time or not. More often than not it was running well behind schedule. And there was nothing they could do about it.

But I was also told that route was particularly bad, while other Amtrak routes weren't so bad. Apparently the eastern US routes run reasonably close to on-time.

Now perhaps in more recent years they got tired of the complaints and have improved the service.


Nevertheless, even if the train did run on time, it won't work for us on this particular trip. When we travel (which we do a lot) we consider all our transportation options and pick the one(s) that suit us the best. Much like when we move to a new place ... when we choose a place to live. We consider all our options, and pick the one that suits us the best at the time.

If it makes everyone feel better ... we won't be driving to Canada.

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Old 07-15-14, 05:31 AM   #59
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I've ridden Amtrak on numerous occasions in several different parts of the country, and it's never been late for me. Air travel, on the other hand...I've only flown a handful of times in my life, and one of those times the flight was diverted to another city overnight, so we arrived the day after we were supposed to. But the longest travel delay I ever experienced was -- you guessed it -- driving. The car died in the middle of nowhere and I had to wait a day and a half for repairs to be finished. My one-day trip was turned into three days.

I don't think it's inevitable that sharing the rails with freight trains will cause delays. Bay Area commuter trains share rail with freight, and that doesn't affect the schedule. If the trains are late, it's usually because of either police action or someone launching themselves in front of the train and dying.
Commuter is different from long-haul. We've travelled commuter in various cities without issues. In Victoria, Australia, it's not unusual to sit on the platform and have a freight train go past.

But on the LA-Seattle line, the freight priority is well known... because the tracks are owned by the freight train companies.

All my other travel experiences have been completely the opposite to yours. Flights on time (or reasonably so, and certainly not 12 hours late), and reliable hire cars.
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Old 07-15-14, 08:49 AM   #60
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I don't think it's inevitable that sharing the rails with freight trains will cause delays. Bay Area commuter trains share rail with freight, and that doesn't affect the schedule. If the trains are late, it's usually because of either police action or someone launching themselves in front of the train and dying.
Commuter trains, like relatively short distance bus lines, may be relatively OK for day trips; long distance overnight and transcontinental bus/AMTRAK trips are another story; apples and oranges.

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Old 07-15-14, 01:07 PM   #61
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Better check out the terms of agreement/use with Zipcar before counting on it . I believe it is intended for short term (a few hours) and local use. Perhaps ro-monstor or someone else familiar with it can clarify.
Correct
Zipcar charges a fairly high price on a per hour basis, with everything included (fuel, insurance etc), so it is best when you use the car to run one specific errand which is local -most of my zipcar rentals are for one or two hours. The cost is usually $8 to $10 per hour, so for a short rental it is much less than a traditional rental car, and the paperwork is much easier (swipe a card).
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Old 07-16-14, 02:45 AM   #62
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apples and oranges.
In Belgium, they say "apples and pears"
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Old 07-16-14, 03:59 AM   #63
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In Belgium, they say "apples and pears"
Really? I actually like it because it suggests the differences are more subtle than between apples and oranges.
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Old 07-16-14, 04:59 AM   #64
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Yes they do.
In Dutch it's: "appels met peren vergelijken", literally translated: "to compare apples with pears".

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Old 07-17-14, 05:44 PM   #65
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Plus, we won't have bicycles on the way down, so we'd have to rent a car once we get there or take cabs or something to get around Eugene.
I meant to ask earlier but forgot. Are you going to Eugene to get Bike Fridays? Co-Motion bikes?
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Old 07-17-14, 05:58 PM   #66
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I meant to ask earlier but forgot. Are you going to Eugene to get Bike Fridays? Co-Motion bikes?
Bike Fridays!!
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Old 07-18-14, 08:33 AM   #67
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A couple more considerations:


1) What about bicycle storage?


2) What length of bus trip to work/school would be acceptable?
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Old 07-18-14, 11:32 AM   #68
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I'm actually moving from the small town where I've lived the past 5 months or so (and worked) to a smaller town with similar character along the train line here in Sweden.

Mostly, I wanted a rental with a semi-permanent contract. Here in Sweden rental housing is tough to come by in many places. Certainly where I live now, but Stockholm is much worse. Here I asked the local rental companies, and was told that I shouldn't expect a call for 4-5 years. In Stockholm, it's more like 25-30 years... As it is, I have a weird place in a good location that's 450 square feet, split into two floors, with a severely sloping ceiling limiting the use of the top floor, which therefore really limits the place to about 300 square feet of marketable space.

Last night I took the keys to a place that's about 775 square feet, more-or-less the same price, on a single floor that's pretty much amazing. I also will no longer rely on expensive, prepaid 4G internet service. And I could go on-and-on about the advantages of it. It lengthens the commute, but it's not such a big deal. It'll be something like bus-train-bike on the way to work, or maybe the opposite, after I figure out what I want to do. I think the social and financial benefits of living in a smaller town will be truly beneficial.
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Old 07-18-14, 05:46 PM   #69
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I'm actually moving from the small town where I've lived the past 5 months or so (and worked) to a smaller town with similar character along the train line here in Sweden.

Mostly, I wanted a rental with a semi-permanent contract. Here in Sweden rental housing is tough to come by in many places. Certainly where I live now, but Stockholm is much worse. Here I asked the local rental companies, and was told that I shouldn't expect a call for 4-5 years. In Stockholm, it's more like 25-30 years... As it is, I have a weird place in a good location that's 450 square feet, split into two floors, with a severely sloping ceiling limiting the use of the top floor, which therefore really limits the place to about 300 square feet of marketable space.

Last night I took the keys to a place that's about 775 square feet, more-or-less the same price, on a single floor that's pretty much amazing. I also will no longer rely on expensive, prepaid 4G internet service. And I could go on-and-on about the advantages of it. It lengthens the commute, but it's not such a big deal. It'll be something like bus-train-bike on the way to work, or maybe the opposite, after I figure out what I want to do. I think the social and financial benefits of living in a smaller town will be truly beneficial.
Your post begs the question... what do people do if they don't have a place to live, such as kids moving out of the family home, or those transferred in their jobs to a new location?
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Old 07-18-14, 08:26 PM   #70
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Car-Light Lifestyle: Choosing A Place To Live

Usually you would rent from the first hand contract holder for short periods of time while they're traveling. I was mostly ignored when I sent emails about these places. Or I'd go to see a place, only to find myself with 20 other "applicants."

Many people actually purchase as an easy alternative to renting! It's the only place I've ever lived where money can't solve all of my everyday problems...
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Old 07-19-14, 05:43 AM   #71
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I've ridden Amtrak on numerous occasions in several different parts of the country, and it's never been late for me. Air travel, on the other hand...I've only flown a handful of times in my life, and one of those times the flight was diverted to another city overnight, so we arrived the day after we were supposed to. But the longest travel delay I ever experienced was -- you guessed it -- driving. The car died in the middle of nowhere and I had to wait a day and a half for repairs to be finished. My one-day trip was turned into three days.

I don't think it's inevitable that sharing the rails with freight trains will cause delays. Bay Area commuter trains share rail with freight, and that doesn't affect the schedule. If the trains are late, it's usually because of either police action or someone launching themselves in front of the train and dying.
Amtrak on the east coast has a horrible on time record, something less than 50%... airlines aren't much better. I have one round trip I have to make by air 3-4 times a year. I have yet to have it depart or arrive on time. Car travel is a crap shoot.

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Old 07-19-14, 09:54 PM   #72
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A couple more considerations:


1) What about bicycle storage?


2) What length of bus trip to work/school would be acceptable?

3) And what about elevation? Low enough so you don't have to climb steep hills to get home every day ... but high enough so you don't get flooded?
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Old 07-20-14, 12:29 AM   #73
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Amtrak on the east coast has a horrible on time record, something less than 50%... airlines aren't much better. I have one round trip I have to make by air 3-4 times a year. I have yet to have it depart or arrive on time. Car travel is a crap shoot.

Aaron
Car travel is often delayed--perhaps more so than train and bus travel. A co-worker recently sat in her car for more than 24 hours when Atlanta got a couple inches of snow. A neighbor family nearly froze to death in their car during a freak Thanksgiving ice storm years ago.

Besides the weather, there are other causes of delay on motoring trips--including accidents, road construction, breakdowns, and politicians closing bridges to get even with their opponents.

The safety record for private cars is also very poor compared to trains and buses.
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Old 07-20-14, 02:52 AM   #74
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Car travel is often delayed--perhaps more so than train and bus travel. A co-worker recently sat in her car for more than 24 hours when Atlanta got a couple inches of snow. A neighbor family nearly froze to death in their car during a freak Thanksgiving ice storm years ago.

Besides the weather, there are other causes of delay on motoring trips--including accidents, road construction, breakdowns, and politicians closing bridges to get even with their opponents.

The safety record for private cars is also very poor compared to trains and buses.
Weak. Very weak.

For the number of passengers who travel by that train, and the number of people who drive, the incidence of delays on the train is huge by comparison.

We weren't discussing the merits of safety on either mode of transport.
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Old 07-20-14, 08:36 PM   #75
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More Things To Think About When Choosing a Place To Live

A few more considerations:

1) What about bicycle storage?

2) What length of bus trip to work/school would be acceptable?

3) And what about elevation? Low enough so you don't have to climb steep hills to get home every day ... but high enough so you don't get flooded?

4) How about the amount of sunlight a place might get? Too much and the place is blazing hot all the time ... too little and it's dark and cold?

5) Room for entertainment? (That seems to be a big one on Escape to the Country)
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