A year in the life of a family gone ‘carless
Understanding the target market is imperative to building places that they would embrace, or in business terms, buy or lease. Here’s a look into a ‘year in the life’ of a Chicago family man who decided to give up their only car.
His full account is here. Here’s an excerpt:
“…Why not just turn our car in when the lease expires and see what it’s like? If it doesn’t work out, we can go lease a new car anytime we want. Meanwhile, we’ll save a lot of money…
Surprisingly, [my wife] agreed, our kids signed on, and we did it. I actually turned the car in a week early.
I expected summer and fall to be a pleasant experiment, but I really didn’t know what to expect come winter. Would not having a car just add to the misery of my most miserable season? Would we be test-driving Hondas in the snow? A year later, we’re still car free and expect to stay this way. Beyond the financial windfall of our change, we’ve connected with the city in a whole new way, we get more exercise, and our stress level has fallen. And we’ve learned, much more than we ever expected to – about our selves, our city and our society.
It’s a fascinating read.
Btw, I find life grander, richer without a car myself. It’s nothing about making a statement, life for me is just better.
Personal opinions? Speak your mind below…
Spent a year as an American in Switzerland, leaving behind the car and relying wholly on buses, trams, and SBB. The result? The few times we rented a car to head to Italy, Germany or IKEA proved to be more timely, lower cost, and higher stress. Having returned to the San Francisco bay area, the need for a car to get around (moving beyond where I live / work, which is all walkable) is painful, but a fact.