I bought my first bike and started commuting on it in 2010 (to protest having to pay $600/year for parking as a post-doc on the Georgia Tech campus). Today, long story short, I’m selling my Chevy Bolt EV to my daughter and starting a carless life.
Partially, this decision is financial. I’ve decided to start saving some money, paying off some bills, and getting out from under my car payment seemed like part of the solution. But I’ve also been a big fan of biking and public transit in Atlanta for years. It’s a great way to experience the city differently, to stay in shape, and to never sit in traffic again (as a driver).
It’s true, there are some drawbacks. Getting somewhere takes longer, sometimes a lot longer. For instance: my 35 mile commute from southeast Atlanta to Kennesaw State University (where I teach) takes 45 mins in a car with no traffic and 1.5-2hours using my bike and public transit. However, consider that the two hour commute is now actually a 45 minute “trip to the gym” (bike portion) and a one-ish hour bus ride during which I can listen to music or a book, catch up on email, sleep, draw, etc. All things I could not do while I was gritting my teeth behind the wheel.
I don’t have a scheduled end-point for this experiment. I’m going to do it as long as I comfortably can. I’ve got lots of people around me offering to borrow their car whenever I might need to (thank you everyone :). And I’m looking forward to getting powering into the spring with my bike and my Marta card.