Thursday, February 14, 2008

Going from car-free to car-lite...

We're getting a motor vehicle this week, a '95 Ford Aerostar minivan to be exact, and I can't say I'm entirely happy about the idea...

Since 2001 we've been without any type of vehicle other than bikes and I've never really missed having to worry about the care and feeding of a car, but it looks like this is going to end.

The SO's job is moving to new digs in a couple months and the new location would make it so she'd have to catch her bus at 5am and walk a mile or so to catch another bus from a different line just to get to work by 9am, couple that with the bus fare coming to about $265 a month, and that's with using a bus pass that the other bus line wont honor.

We figured it would still be cheaper to drive than to ride the bus for that amount.

Along with picking out a decent minivan that gets good mileage and had decent cargo space, I have placed a few conditions on getting the vehicle though, things like...

  1. She has to get her own driver's license, I'm not going to get stuck playing chauffeur for everyone again and it will remove the need to make twice as many trips to her work to drop her off and pick her up.
  2. It's not to be used for anything that's within riding distance unless it involves having to move loads too large for the bikes and my trailer.
  3. When it is used for errands, as many as possible have to be combined into one trip.
  4. We're not going to fall into that old "Let's just drive" mode of thinking again.
  5. Only so much per month will be budgeted for fuel, once that's gone, that's it till next month.

I fully intend to be a bastard about this because I don't really want the van but I can see the potential need for us getting one.

My first choice would have been something diesel powered so when it gets too bad I can just start making bio-diesel, unfortunately no decent diesels were available in our price range... but I'm still keeping an eye out for one.

And, to be honest, I am looking forward to seeing a few places I haven't been able to visit, due to distance, since the last car died, but those will be special trips and not done every weekend...

1 comment:

  1. Marrock,

    it IS possible to have a car (or minivan) and use it responsibly. So many more people could just combine errands and reduce the use of it, and that would make BIG differences in traffic, smog and all the other nasties cars are responsible for.

    Sounds like you're well on the right track... Good luck with it!