I'll just walk, hop on the bus and catch the train - but I shan't drive the car

@p1kef1sh (45648)
June 11, 2008 3:46am CST
My wife has just had a medical experience that means she cannot drive for the next year and possibly ever again. This isn't really such a big deal as I drive her everywhere anyway. But if you were told to stop driving for a year how would you cope. Are you doing without your car now. Have you found benefits, or is it all a big pain?
23 people like this
70 responses
@pumpkinjam (4769)
11 Jun 08
Well, as I don't drive anyway, I cope pretty well without a car! Not having a car is most certainly a pain though. I am glad in a way that I don't have one with the fuel prices going up so much and everything but it does get extremely frustrating when I want to go somewhere and can't because the bus doesn't go there or because I won't have time. The local bus company have just "improved" the service around here. Some of it is good but we still can't get all the way home on a bus after 6pm and it is really expensive. I suppose if you have all day and plenty of change then it's ok but you've still got to be careful because if you miss the last bus, you're stuck. That's ok if you're not far away but I know around here, it seems that the further away you go, the earlier the buses stop coming back!
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
That's not a good situation Pumpkin. However, I suspect that as petrol increases in price more and more people will be driven (oops a pun) onto the buses. They will then have two options. Improve the service or increase the fares to such an extent that nobody will travel on them.
4 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 08
I suppose my boys would be busy carting me everywhere Pike. We live in a small town but large enough that you have to have some form of transportation to get around. Getting on a bike like me Nova Darlin, would be difficult as our town is a rolling washboard of hills valleys and bigger hills that almost amount to mountains. We have no buses, and the taxi service closes up shop at 7 in the evening. His prices right now are outrageous in the first place due to gas... yep it would be a very big inconvenience Pikey :)) What is wrong with your bride? I hope she is ok.
3 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
I've just heard on the radio that they think gas in the UK will increase to £2.30 a litre by the end of the year. That's $18.40 a gallon roughly!! Your taxi driver might be the only man with a car in town before long! Suddenly the bike seems even more attractive. The only solution will have to be public transport. Frightening isn't it? The Boss collapsed at the weekend twice and spent quite some time in hospital. She's much better now. But I thought that I'd need an undertaker at one point!
3 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 08
i am a disabled lady. I have never driven. I also cannot get on busses. I have yo take a disabled bus, which sometimes takes two weeks to set up an appointment to get thus bus. I have to schedule all my appointments aroud this. I spmetimes think that i all divers had to get through this. Waiting for a bus for hours, and sometimes being left behind. They would appreciate the convience that driving brings. My best to your wife and hope she feels better.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
Gosh Lynnie, a two week wait for a bus is outrageous. That said, there are areas round here that have no service at all! Thank you for your best wishes to my wife. She is much better now, although we still don't know exactly what is wrong with her.
3 people like this
@novataylor (6572)
• United States
11 Jun 08
Ahhh, that makes sense that she can't drive, p1ke. Wow, I hadn't thought of that aspect of it all. But, as you know, I don't have a car. So I get around on my bicycle, all around my neighborhood, and we have a really good public transportation system here, and I can use the buses and the train to get to places that would be far for me to ride my bike. Plus, I can put my bike on the rack that's on the front of every bus and ride it after I get off the bus. I can also take it on the train with me, which I do quite often. My friends help too - they're always there when I need them. I just asked my friend Gabriel to pick me up after I have my endoscopy done, 'cause I'll be positively loooopy, and won't be able to ride the bus or train, and the hospital won't allow me to get a cab either, in my condition. So I've gotta get someone to pick me up, which I did. Good ole Gabriel. Robin takes me everywhere too, as you know, shopping, shopping, shopping. She's terrific. So, that's how I deal with not having a car in my life. I don't want one. I don't want the hassles that come with them, the expense, the INSURANCE, which I shouldn't ever even get started on, the mainenance, yuck, all of it. I'll stick with airing my tires and oiling the chain, thank you very much.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
I was just saying to RJ that I should look at buying a bike. We "need" a car as much as anyone else. But I reckon that we could probably be much more efficient by using a bike somtimes. I can see you now on your silver machine. Remember that I saw it at the Coffee Cartel? Beauty and the Bike!
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jun 08
lol, Beauty and the Bike! Ha! But thank you, darling, it was the sweetest thing to say. And of course I remember that you saw it on that street camera that day, how could I possibly forget? I was so tickled that you got to see it, knowing how much I love that thing, my Sapphire, my beautiful Giant Simple Single. My trusty steed. You said something above about getting a bike. Not a bad idea, p1key. And exercise improves our moods, gets those endorphins rolling. So think about it. No, longer than that. Really think about it. How hilly is your city? Do you think it would be feasible to do? There are some really cool bikes out there - I can see you now, zooming down the roads.
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
It's downhill all the way into the City and uphill all the way back therefore. But I don't think that the slopes are that bad. My neighbour across the road is in her late sixties and she manages, so can I.
2 people like this
11 Jun 08
I started driving lessons, must be eight years ago now but due to medical reasons I had to give up my license for a year but by then I had moved to butlins and didnt think about it!! Im thinking about learning to drive now but not sure!! I tend to walk or use the bus to get to wherever!!!
2 people like this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
With the cost of motoring as it is and is likely to become, I do wonder if there is much point in owning a car anymore. But being able to drive is very useful. So if yu are able, why not go for it.
1 person likes this
11 Jun 08
I'll have to start saving, apply for my license and then find a good instructor!!! Im not bothered about having a car but being able to fdrive is always a good thing!!!
1 person likes this
@owlwings (36141)
• Cambridge, England
12 Jun 08
I'm sorry to hear about your wife, P1kef1sh. I hope that she's OK apart from being unable to drive. My daughter wrote off our car in February and the insurance just paid for the balance owing on it and more or less covered a large bill for servicing that we had just paid. I think I was left with £100 or so in hand. Fortunately I live on a very good bus route and qualify for a free bus pass, so I was already using the car very little, since it is not worth taking the car into town, where parking charges are phenomenal. Being without a car has left me at least £150 a month better off and I don't feel the loss of it at all at the moment. With those savings it is quite possible to hire a car for any long journey or holiday when I need to and even to pay for the occasional taxi. Hotonearth has a carbon footprint calculator and I just took the test. My results, it says, are: You produce about 4.6 tonnes of C02 per year The national average is 7 tonnes of C02 per year. So you have a reasonably low footprint compared to the national average, but it's still too high to be sustainable by our planet. You are nearly there though, good work. Whatever your carbon footprint, there [is] sure to be more you can do, so please take a look at http://www.hotonearth.co.uk for more ideas about what you can be doing to help raise money to fight global warming.
@owlwings (36141)
• Cambridge, England
12 Jun 08
I actually took the test in Facebook, where they have developed a little app to do that. On going to the website given above, I can't see the equivalent test available. There is another calculator here: http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx This gave me a much higher footprint of 9.935 tonnes (about average, it says, for the UK). It does ask more questions, for example, about public transport and the type of shopping you do. I think the other calculator relied only on household heating and lighting, car use and a rough figure for air miles. I wonder how much one can rely on these figures, especially as our energy use depends on secondary things like what kind of food we buy, where from and with how much packaging. Also, if we use public transport, it presumably makes quite a big difference if we are often the only person on our bus, which can happen on a rural bus route. Anyway, the site supports a number of charities and claims that by donating as follows I can offset my footprint: Clean Energy Fund Your funding supports VCS verified carbon reduction projects around the world which reduce carbon emissions through the displacement of fossil fuels through clean / renewable energy generation. from £ 74.51 to offset 9.935 tonnes Reforestation in Kenya Your pledge funds the planting of native broad leaved trees in the Great Rift Valley. The project is coordinated by ESCONET, and is also supported by the Red Cross. from £ 98.00 to pledge 14 trees (about 10.220 tonnes) UK Tree Planting Your pledge funds the planting of trees in the UK county of your choice. The project is managed by Tree Appeal and endorsed by Bill Oddie, the TV wildlife celebrity and conservationist. from £ 164.50 to pledge 14 trees (about 10.220 tonnes)
1 person likes this
@owlwings (36141)
• Cambridge, England
12 Jun 08
My best wishes for the scan! I have had MRI (as a guinea pig for Medical Research) and it doesn't hurt but it's quite boring and a bit noisy. They gave me a marvellous 3D image of the walnut that is my brain by way of compensation - in fact, I have 3 over a period of 10 years and I don't notice any atrophy. I haven't been to Oxford in a while but we have a reasonable P&R here in Cambridge. Free parking and (I think) £1.50 or thereabouts for a return into town. Since I live 3 miles from the centre, I have never used it. The bus is expensive (if you have to pay for it) ... £2.50 for a day ticket. That does take you anywhere in the city all day (though most people just want to go to the centre and back). You can cut the cost by buying a 4 week (£38) or 52 week (£437) Megarider ticket, which is fine if you work in town and use the bus every day. Even so, with normal running costs (and assuming that one's company provides free parking) 6 miles of car travel still costs less than £1 (and you can halve that if two people use the car). If you add the price you are prepared to pay for time/convenience, not to mention being able to put shopping in the car, I think public transport still has a way to go to be economic for many people.
@ZephyrSun (7399)
• United States
12 Jun 08
Well I have a SUV gas, guzzler, American crap, and I could use a few other choice words to describe this thing but I won't because I don't want your discussion deleted LOL. I would like to note that it was $120 usd to fill this thing up over the weekend but I might add that it was almost 3 months since the last fill up. We have the city bus here but I haven't used it before and it sorta scares me to think about getting on it and lost. We have trains but nothing for a local trip around town you would have to head for another city. If it is close I walk. It works for me since I have 2 legs and 2 feet LOL. It's much better than getting lost on the bus.
1 person likes this
@owlwings (36141)
• Cambridge, England
12 Jun 08
Now, why would you get lost, LOL? Surely your bus company produces handy route guides and maps and, in a last resort, you can just wait on the other side of the street that you got off on and a bus will appear sooner or later that will take you back to your destination! Your SUV certainly has a huge tank (around 30 gallons, if I'm not mistaken) but if you only use about 10 gals a month, that's very good going! Incidentally, with the cost of fuel the way it is, in the UK that amount of gas would cost you the equivalent of around $350 (and you would pay an extra yearly tax if it's a 4WD).
@p1kef1sh (45648)
12 Jun 08
As Owlwings says, your mileage is pretty good if you only fill up every three months. I have a hybrid car and spend that on it every month with ease. We all need to make more of public transport though. Gas prices are going through the roof here and soon it''ll be cheaper to buy a house than fill the care!!
@ZephyrSun (7399)
• United States
12 Jun 08
It's a 4WD and the national average here in the US is currently $4.00 but in my area we are always above the national average. Right now the station down the street from me is selling at $4.15 a gallon. I am sure that the bus system here does have maps and all of that stuff but I am still leery of the bus. I don't want it to take me half a day to get to my destination. LOL So, why do you have to pay a tax if you own a 4WD? We have such heavy snowfalls in my area there are days we wouldn't be able to leave the house if we didn't have 4WD.
• Indonesia
12 Jun 08
you're probably tired replying to this, but i need to say it: sorry to hear about your wife condition. Hope she'll get better in no time! Okay, that being said: i don't drive simply because i cant drive Lol. Both in the city or in the hometown, buses and public cars (for means of public transportation) are everywhere. And i cant see when i will be able to buy a car (for it's expensive and so is the gas) so, not able to drive is never a matter for me. And since i always took bus, i dont think it will matter for me without car. But for my family who live in the hometown and use to travel in a whole bunch to the big city, they need car for it's much cheaper and safer.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
12 Jun 08
Thank you for your good wishes. She's fine but we still have some way to go. You don't miss what you never had. But if you have it, boy does it feel like you are surrendering something. Almost a part of you. We could live without a car. But it wouldn't be half as pleasant as living with one. Even though it makes little economic sense.
• Indonesia
12 Jun 08
I know! When my boyfriend and i bought a motorbike, we used it to go everywhere ever since. Money counts say it's cheaper for us to go by bike than by bus. It is also more convenient. When there's problem with it and we have to sell it, it feels very odd to take on the bus and taxi again. But well, we adjust well. Maybe because the bike's with us for only a few months. Remind your wife to stay positive about everything! It's been proven (if i didnt read it wrong) that positive mind bring your body to a better way of healing the pain. At least that's what happen with my aunt :)
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I have no idea what I would do?? I'm too sexy for the bus...Besides that, they are stinky and not stinky in the good way. I guess I would have everyone drive me around like Driving Miss Daisy or take a cab. I would sure be spending a lot more time at home and who wants that. I'd rather be out and about causing trouble. This is a tough one. I don't think I could live without my car.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
12 Jun 08
But you may have to be without it one day Skinny. That's the scary thing. In the meantime though. Keep kicking those purple booted legs!
• United States
12 Jun 08
LOL With this gas you have a point there. Sigh....Maybe I could get one of those oil cars, after all, I do work in a restaurant. Gotta go, on a hunt for an oil car!!
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
11 Jun 08
If I wasnt able to drive anymore I would be a VERY sad girl. This would mean I would have to move out of the country and into a town/city. I HATE living in town but otherwise being single I wouldnt have any means of transportation to get to town for work for groceries etc. It would cause me to have extra expenses such as reconnection fees for all my power phone etc, the pain of having to change my address on all my bills and licenses memberships etc. I would have to start paying rent ( i currently live rent free and care for my parents 2nd house/other half of the farm) I wouldnt have space for a garden and I'd possibly have to find new homes for my pets. It would cause my parents to have to find someone else to live in the house (aka be landlords which they dont want to be) also would cause them to have to take over the power bills for the water troughs and farm stuff which i currently pay at that part as well as the heating bill if they left it empty. To me it would be a big pain.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
That would be an awful situation for you. Let's hope that the situation never arises. Take care.
2 people like this
@saundyl (9698)
• Canada
11 Jun 08
I'm glad that isnt the case for you and your wife!
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 08
As I've never been able to drive it wouldn't make much difference. If your bus services are anything like ours it will take more than double the time to go anywhere and you may not be able to get back after 7p.m. so it's a good thing you are able to drive her wherever she needs to go. Keep taking care of her.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
Our buses are like yours. But the drivers are surly with it. All part of the customer "experience". I am trying to care for her. I am doing my best. But she's actually gone into work for a few hours today. Not my idea. At least she is ringing me ever half hour or so.
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 08
I knew you'd be taking care of her but there's nothing you cn do if she's being stubborn.
@sid556 (31030)
• United States
12 Jun 08
I went for 4 years without a car after being in an uninsured accident years ago. After the accident, I was required to have insurance and it was so high that I could not afford it and so I just did not drive. Yes, it was a tough time but we adjusted and got lots of excersise.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
12 Jun 08
But like us all, in the end you got a car again. They just make our lives so much easier. Being without may make us healthier, but if it doesn't suit our lifestyle.....
@deebomb (15348)
• United States
12 Jun 08
There isn't any public transportation where I live, and the stores are too far away to walk. So having a car is essential. I thought about a moped but I don't think that would work because I find them too scary to ride. I just don't go any where i don't have and try to organize all my errands so there is as little extra driving as possible. It;s hard to do when every thing is so scattered around town. Some day I will have to give up driving but I hope it is a long time off. I hate the thought of giving up that bit of independence.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
12 Jun 08
It's that independence that we all enjoy. Being reliant on public transport, even if it is available is a pain. But we need to rethink how we drive. It is fast reaching the point where it is not affordable except for the most essential of journeys.
@jhartana (1087)
• Australia
11 Jun 08
Well I know it's hard for me to get used not to drive. Since my house is closely located to train station and so my office, I don't think I should have any big problem. I think I can live with it. It would big pain for me but not driving the car will not be the end of world for me, however I save lots of cash...no need to buy petrol for it.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
Sounds like you have a good public transport system there. No car does equal a great deal of money saved.
1 person likes this
@ellie333 (21030)
11 Jun 08
Oh for me not to be able to drive it would be a really beig deal as to me it is my independence. Thankfully for your wife it is you that does the driving anyway. I walk a lot and do use public transport but the fact I have the car for distance journeys and to do the weekly shop is great and I would really miss if I didn't have. I would manage somehow but wouldn't be happy about it. Ellie :D
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
That's pretty much how I feel Ellie. The car is just so convenient and allows me to go places and do things that I otherwise couldn't.
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Jun 08
We're trying hard to be as self sufficent as possible, so we don't go out a great deal. But when we do, the van is pretty essential as we're so far away from everything we need and have no public transport close enough by. I heard on the news recently about some market traders who are abandoning their van in favour of a donkey. It'll take them longer to reach the market, but hay is cheaper than fuel. I quite fancy a donkey myself, but can't see it becoming my family mode of transport.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
I have thought about a pony and trap and turning a great chunk of the garden over to pasture! Someone on here told me that wasn't environmentally practical as the pony would release Methane. Well all animals do. At least there would be no particles (other than in the droppings) in the air. However, I'd have to learn to drive it, and as you say, not too practical as a family runabout. But a nice fantasy though.
@GreenMoo (11842)
11 Jun 08
I've never quite understood the methane arguement myself. I've got the space for a donkey, and could probably cut enough hay without having to buy in, it's just the time that would be in short supply. I'm working on OH!
@p1kef1sh (45648)
11 Jun 08
I'm reading this at twenty past midnight when I should be in bed! OH? Occupational Health? I am being thick aren't I.
@chrislotz (8209)
• Canada
17 Jun 08
I don't have a car at the moment and I totally hate it. I have moved from Winnipeg to Calgary and since my car in Winnipeg, was in poor repairs I knew I couldn't drive it here, 1400 KM. It wouldn't have made it, I am sure. So I am now looking to buy a car but since I can't afford to buy brand new, I have to watch for an older one. I don't want to just jump into anything so I am taking my time, figuring that when I see the one I really want, I'll know. It is awful that having your own car because then you have to become dependant on some else to drive you around. I have my daughter to drive me where ever I want to go, but I hate asking her.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
17 Jun 08
I know that there is a Transit system in Calgary but I have no idea how good it is. I can imagine what a pain it is to have to rely on someone else all the time.
@chrislotz (8209)
• Canada
19 Jun 08
The bus service in Calgary is terible compared to Winnipeg. In Winnipeg there is a bus on every busy route, In Calgary there are few busses. People are complaining all the time, on the news, about the transit system here.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
15 Jun 08
I don't drive and don't have a car of my own. The car we own is driven by my husband (though he says he bought is for me). He doesn't want me to learn to drive (don't know why). Anyways, I walk where I can...and catch local transport or a cab to get to places which I cannot cover on foot. But right now, I really feel I need a car to get around...it's too much of a pain carrying a toddler and shopping bags and walking everywhere.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
15 Jun 08
I think that it is a good idea for women to learn to drive. That said, the price of fuel is such that I think that many people are starting to reconsider their car usage.
@SViswan (12096)
• India
16 Jun 08
I made a big mistake by being obedient and not learning how to drive when I was 18. My dad wanted me to learn but I was living with my mother and grandmother then...and they both were worried and refused to let me learn. And I didn't. My sister went through the same situation when she was 18...and she just went ahead and learnt behind their back. She's driving now...and here I am (who really needs to drive) walking all over the place.
@cortney09 (1350)
• United States
14 Jun 08
I have not driven a car in five years. My license expired about a year ago. Before that though I hadn't driven in four years. I am to afraid to go get my license renewed until I can get my anxiety under control.
@p1kef1sh (45648)
14 Jun 08
I think that is very sensible. Well done you.
@cortney09 (1350)
• United States
14 Jun 08
thank you. I just hope to get mine renewed sometime soon.
• Nigeria
13 Jun 08
hi i may say, for me i cant forget to drive since i have already aquared the skill.and i cant do without my car beceause it has helped me alot so it is good to have a car.
• Nigeria
13 Jun 08
it is nice to lean how to drive
@p1kef1sh (45648)
13 Jun 08
Enjoy your driving Henry. Thank you. Welcome to myLot too.