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Old 06-02-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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According to the Census Bureau in 2011 26.4% of households in Chicago had zero vehicles. Now a percentage of that is obviously due to poverty but I would guess that most of it is by choice. The link I am providing is out of date (from 2000) and actually has Chicago's rate higher, at 28.85%.

List of U.S. cities with most households without a car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You definitely do not need a car to live in a large number of neighborhoods in Chicago, and for many people it is preferred to avoid the hassle of car ownership as well as the cost of gas, insurance and parking.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
People take buses in Chicago. Historically, streetcars carried more passengers than the el in Chicago, and today the buses still have higher ridership than the trains. Compared to other cities, especially NYC, the bus network in Chicago is extensive, and relatively efficient.
That makes sense. Here in Pittsburgh I take the bus regularly, because our rail system sucks and only goes to one part of the city (and some of the suburbs). But when I'm a tourist I typically don't bother taking buses anywhere and just stick to areas accessible on rail lines.
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Chicago and Washington, D.C. Then Boston, Philly and San Francisco.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:44 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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You could live pretty comfortably in Seattle without owning a car. Lots more mom and pop shops, lots more small cores spread through the city, lots more walkable neighborhoods.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
You could live pretty comfortably in Seattle without owning a car. Lots more mom and pop shops, lots more small cores spread through the city, lots more walkable neighborhoods.
Here's a video of a Seattle resident who has recently sold her car and is comfortable relying on Seattle's public transportation system.


Carless In Seattle! - YouTube
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:59 PM
 
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Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:32 PM
 
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NYC is the only U.S. city where a huge number of non-poor are car free, so I would say only NYC is truly where you do not need a car (if you are middle class and higher, and not just out of college, so no obligations).

Places where once could conceivably could live fine without a car (but again, not many middle/upper class) would be, probably in order, DC, SF, Boston, Chicago and Philly.

You can always do it, but do you want to do it? Would it impact your dating life, your grocery shopping, your weekend plans? Probably yes, unless you're in NYC (where car free is so common that it's actually the exception to own a car - people assume you don't have one unless you say otherwise).
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:38 PM
 
178 posts, read 238,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakparkdude View Post
Compared to other cities, especially NYC, the bus network in Chicago is extensive, and relatively efficient.
Chicago does have a very extensive bus system, but it's much less extensive, and has much lower ridership (both per capita and total) than in NYC and LA.

One could go car-free in Chicago, but it would not be my preferred alternative, especially if I were over 25 or not broke. The city is most convenient with a car (at least for daily shopping and the like). The big box stores along Clybourn all have free parking lots, and the various arterials, like Ashland all have free parking for the various CVS stores and Jewel/Oscos or Whole Foods or whatever.

If you can afford it, doesn't seem to make sense to rely on buses to take you to stores that were built for cars to begin with.
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
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I think it's a matter of personality, and clearly Almont, you are one who prefers having a car. I am guessing that the OP is much more amenable to walkable environments and alternative forms of transportation than you are. There's plenty of people in both camps, but it seems more younger people are seeking to drop car ownership nowadays. (zipcar is banking on this fact)

In any case, if the OP wants a carfree lifestyle outside NYC, then these are his best options. And zipcar (or other carsharing services) is a great resource for those times when you really need a vehicle!!
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Shaw.
2,226 posts, read 3,153,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
According to the Census Bureau in 2011 26.4% of households in Chicago had zero vehicles. Now a percentage of that is obviously due to poverty but I would guess that most of it is by choice. The link I am providing is out of date (from 2000) and actually has Chicago's rate higher, at 28.85%.

List of U.S. cities with most households without a car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You definitely do not need a car to live in a large number of neighborhoods in Chicago, and for many people it is preferred to avoid the hassle of car ownership as well as the cost of gas, insurance and parking.
Chicago and San Francisco are lower than I'd expect. Buffalo and Baltimore are higher. Interesting, though.
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