Here’s a documentary on several couples testing the carless lifestyle in Calgary by becoming bus and rail dependant. These families choose to live in suburban communities away from transit rich cities to become carless and I applaud their attempt.
However, you and I can see the mistake they are making.
1. Not using transit effectively --- In the movie, it was taking 3 or 4 times the amount of time to travel instead of using the car. If they were timing the bus and rail, it should have taken 1 or 2 times. This has been my experience in timing the buses and trains only doubles my commute time at worse. I get the feeling they did not use the bus schedule at all in planning their trips.
2. They did not make use of human powered machines --- In the movie, you’ll see one woman dragging a Burley Travoy to complete her shopping but where’s her bicycle? LOL. It was sad seeing how desperate the situation looked as they had to lug home groceries and even a Christmas tree on foot.
Why not multimode commute with a bicycle using the bus or train to complete the trip? How about taking a folding bike or a folding adult kick scooter instead of waiting for a transfer bus? Heck, why not use Roller blades or a skateboard? Why not attach the Travoy to a bicycle making the trip is 5 minutes to the grocery store instead of 20? Why not bike commute or use a taxi? The whole experiment was designed to fail.
It just seems to me that being carless in the movie was all about sacrifice and suffering. I did not pay for the full length movie due to the fact it was being done wrong. I don’t consider myself carless because that is the wrong way to look at it. My life is not LESS by not owning a car.
Quite the contrary, I’m carfree which is an empowering word meaning I’m no longer dependant on costly personal motorized transport for survival. I do not sacrifice or endure hardship in no manner what so ever. My choice of occupation, transit rich community and use of human powered machines have given me the same freedoms of the motor centrist.
There's a 22 minute primer here: