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Old 12-31-2012, 09:51 AM
 
23 posts, read 60,907 times
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I'm moving to a new city in 2013. Narrowing down my choices. A couple I'm thinking about are dominated by car culture, the others have excellent public transportation that most people use.

What are the pros and cons of both? Trying to decide which would fit me better personally. I don't have experience with either really because I live in a small town, don't drive, but pretty much walk or bike everywhere or get a car ride from friends if I really need to.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 12,102,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodybag View Post
I'm moving to a new city in 2013. Narrowing down my choices. A couple I'm thinking about are dominated by car culture, the others have excellent public transportation that most people use.

What are the pros and cons of both? Trying to decide which would fit me better personally. I don't have experience with either really because I live in a small town, don't drive, but pretty much walk or bike everywhere or get a car ride from friends if I really need to.

Thanks!
The pros of owning a car are obviously the privacy, being able to typically come and go as you please, and having unlimited access to every public location in your area and beyond.

The pros of relying on public trans are simply being free of all the cons that come along with car ownership: payments, gas, maintenance, insurance, traffic, and parking. I've known people who had nearly 30-50% of their monthly income go towards their car, and that's more than some people spend for housing.

My ideal city would have a solid mixture of both: a sufficient and reliable rail system, so that one can access the entire city, and a well-maintained infrastructure with adequate parking to support those who want to drive.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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One can live in a transit-rich city and still access a car through car-sharing, which offers all of the perks of ownership without the financial and logistical drawbacks. ZipCar is in over 50 US cities, where one can rent for as little as an hour, an entire day and even a week. Insurance is included as well as gas (yes, free gas!) and 180 miles per day free on a daily rate.

cities | Zipcar
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 12,102,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
One can live in a transit-rich city and still access a car through car-sharing, which offers all of the perks of ownership without the financial and logistical drawbacks. ZipCar is in over 50 US cities, where one can rent for as little as an hour, an entire day and even a week. Insurance is included as well as gas (yes, free gas!) and 180 miles per day free on a daily rate.

cities | Zipcar
...all of the perks of ownership, except for ownership.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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not having a car is nice with all the money saved but it depends on your lifestyle. As somebody who enjoys outdoor activities and road trips, only relying on public transportation is not an option for me so a car is needed. But that is me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,205,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodybag View Post
I'm moving to a new city in 2013. Narrowing down my choices. A couple I'm thinking about are dominated by car culture, the others have excellent public transportation that most people use.

What are the pros and cons of both? Trying to decide which would fit me better personally. I don't have experience with either really because I live in a small town, don't drive, but pretty much walk or bike everywhere or get a car ride from friends if I really need to.

Thanks!

Public transportation: Noisy/rude passengers, facing the elements while waiting (ie when it's freezing cold)

Personal car: Long commutes and/or congestion, aggressive drivers (sometimes leading to road rage)

Those are kinda the extreme cons but you get the picture.

I personally would pick having my own car because it gives me the most flexibility in where I can go and how quickly I can get there.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:04 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,576,667 times
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I agree with the posts above about the possibility of a middle way. It might be easier to give you comments if you said which cities you were considering, and where your work location is likely to be (downtown, suburban office park, at home, in a coal mine etc.).
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,980 posts, read 4,056,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nairobi View Post
...all of the perks of ownership, except for ownership.
Owning a car is not really a "pro" at all. Its not like a house or land, a car is a depreciating asset, unless you own a vintage. By having ownership of a car you actually lose money.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
8,931 posts, read 12,102,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
Owning a car is not really a "pro" at all. Its not like a house or land, a car is a depreciating asset, unless you own a vintage. By having ownership of a car you actually lose money.
No one said anything about it being a profitable investment, but neither are electronics, clothes, or many of the other luxuries we buy for ourselves. Still, there is pleasure to be had in being a car owner, for some of us anyway.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:14 PM
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If you're moving to a new city and starting fresh, living in a city where you don't need a car will certainly get you out more and meeting people.

I don't see many cons to not having a car. As long as you live somewhere where it's do-able.
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