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Old 02-11-2013, 07:56 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,104,114 times
Reputation: 3117

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Mass transit is more subsidized than highways.
I'm sure you mean as a percentage and not total dollars.

 
Old 02-12-2013, 02:33 AM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,542,550 times
Reputation: 7127
The road system has historically been one of the the bigger welfare sucks for our country. I think some figure I read somewhere said we are rolling up on almost 400 billion to just keep the roads in the repair their respective states think they should be in. On a much smaller scale, go to the annual budget meeting of your town or township and see how many funds are diverted from more useful things to cover shortfalls in road maintenance or developer give-a-ways.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 03:03 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,228 posts, read 12,672,293 times
Reputation: 22030
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
7,000 miles for 4 years? In addition to a really short commute, sounds like you don't use your car for much else. I'd probably bicycle commute most of the time if my commute was your distance.
I very occasionally go on "long" trips, but for me that usually means a couple hundred miles round-trip. At my old house my commute to work was 7 minutes long. At my current house it's 4-5 minutes. If the weather were better and there were a bike lane on the little highway I take, I would definitely consider biking to work.

I only have to go in to work 3-4 days a week; otherwise I work at home. I also have long breaks (winter, spring, summer) where I work at home virtually the whole time. So of course that accounts for my very low car-related expenses. But even when I had a job where I had to be there 5 days a week with few breaks during the year, my car expenses were low as I always lived close to work (did I mention I hate long commutes?!).

Of course I realize that I am incredibly lucky with the type of job I have and the fact that I can live so close to my workplace.

I may be driving to a conference in Atlantic City in April, which would be about 700 miles round trip -- by far my longest trip in this car!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by weteath View Post
You only spend ten to twenty dollars a month on gas? My parents probably spend north of $300 a month on their vehicles.
It's usually $40-50 to fill up, but I don't have to do that much!

And I realize I could save money by buying a used car, but I was always afraid I'd get a lemon. I keep my cars for so long that it doesn't much matter anyway. (I never understood leasing 'til I read that it works well for people who really want a new model every few years. I just don't care about cars that much, and the idea of having endless payments without ever actually OWNING something makes no sense to me.)
 
Old 02-12-2013, 06:37 AM
 
6,635 posts, read 4,599,497 times
Reputation: 13350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geologic View Post
I understand your point, but I think you may have confused cause and effect - or maybe it is a "chicken and egg situation, and I would just put them in the opposite order:

Being carfree ALLOWS people to spend more on their housing, and that's what forces prices up. People can choose where to live and many choose a denser area (for a whole host of reasons) and so prices in the urban attractions near good transport connections go up.

If you want to make money, then you should invest in an area with jobs, intelligent dense urban design, and improving transport links. I may start a new thread about this.

Suggestions (for such locations, where transport is improving) are very welcome.
Doesn't matter a whit which came first. Point is if people living in a suburban area in close proximity to a large metro move to said metro for the sole purpose of saving the 8K you say having a car cost them, that 8K (and likely more) will be eaten up by the increased COL in the metro area vs. the suburbs. You said that living car free would save that money. I just pointed out that the only way for most people to live car free is to live in a large metro area with good public transportation and that doing so could eliminate a car, but would likely increase their costs as whole or at least not reduce them.

Bottom line.... going car free, but moving to a higher COL area to do so does not always save money. Yes, it saves money spent on a car, but reallocates that money to the more expensive rents and taxes that go along with city living. Net sum gain = Zero.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Doesn't matter a whit which came first. Point is if people living in a suburban area in close proximity to a large metro move to said metro for the sole purpose of saving the 8K you say having a car cost them, that 8K (and likely more) will be eaten up by the increased COL in the metro area vs. the suburbs. You said that living car free would save that money. I just pointed out that the only way for most people to live car free is to live in a large metro area with good public transportation and that doing so could eliminate a car, but would likely increase their costs as whole or at least not reduce them.

Bottom line.... going car free, but moving to a higher COL area to do so does not always save money. Yes, it saves money spent on a car, but reallocates that money to the more expensive rents and taxes that go along with city living. Net sum gain = Zero.
There are too many exceptions to make this generalization. For example, the COL in rustbelt suburbs is often more than that of the city.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 11:28 AM
 
Location: plano
6,573 posts, read 8,105,591 times
Reputation: 5807
Typical biased analysis. I don't doubt the cost of owning a car.

But buying fewer cars means a fewer car manufacturing/selling/maintenance jobs. Not owning a car means your job prospects are limited to those accessible to you without a car. Shopping is limited to stores on mass transit systems. and on and on it goes... just as much as people do not fully load the cost of owning a car, the benefits of owning a car are not included either in an analysis.

When one side who oppose car transportation or favor it want to load up the cost but not the benefits or vice versa depending on their bias... we end up with an analysis that doesnt comprehend reality.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti
389 posts, read 400,633 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnhw2 View Post
Typical biased analysis. I don't doubt the cost of owning a car.

But buying fewer cars means a fewer car manufacturing/selling/maintenance jobs. Not owning a car means your job prospects are limited to those accessible to you without a car. Shopping is limited to stores on mass transit systems. and on and on it goes... just as much as people do not fully load the cost of owning a car, the benefits of owning a car are not included either in an analysis.

When one side who oppose car transportation or favor it want to load up the cost but not the benefits or vice versa depending on their bias... we end up with an analysis that doesnt comprehend reality.
You have to take into account where people live, if I didn't have a car where I'm at now, it'd be miserable because things are very far apart, with a few cities I've been to I could get around with a mix of walking and transit.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,321,887 times
Reputation: 5622
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderkat59 View Post
Wow ! Lotta money spent on . . . . nothing.
Think what having 4k of that back might do for your household or retirement fund every year for 20 years or so?
Those numbers are very misleading.

I own a 2003 Ford F150 XLT that I purchased in August 2002. It has been paid for since 2007 and has just over 100,000 miles on it. Insurance for the truck (including our home insurance and insurance for my Polaris 500 ATV) is $165 a month. On average, I put $100 a month in gas in the truck. As I only drive the truck and average of 10,000 kms a year, the maintenance costs average around $100 for oil and filter changes.

$1980 for insurance + $1200 for gas + $100 for maintenance = $3280 to own, operate, insure and maintain a full size pickup. This is the main reason I have zero desire to sell it. The cheapest vehicle to operate is the one that is already paid for.

As for spending this money on nothing... I can easily see you don't hunt, fish, ride ATV or do anything outside the confines of the concrete jungle. Sad.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 03:34 PM
 
3,463 posts, read 4,542,550 times
Reputation: 7127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annuvin View Post

As for spending this money on nothing... I can easily see you don't hunt, fish, ride ATV or do anything outside the confines of the concrete jungle. Sad.
And, as to be expected, you would be totally wrong.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 03:54 PM
 
9,856 posts, read 13,426,872 times
Reputation: 5453
I don't have a car payment and I spend

$150/mo on gas
$74/mo on insurance
$45 for oil/tire rotation four times per year ($180/year), so $15/mo
$250/mo parking
$700/year misc expenses $59/mo

So $548/mo without my car payment and it is worth every penny. It would be absolutely miserable to have to wait for public transit/walk everywhere (my house has a 95/100 in walkability from Get Your Walk Score - Find Walkable Apartments and Rentals). The time savings that having a car gives me alone is easily worth it. Without a car I would have to spend

$97.50/mo public transit
$320/mo zipcars/rentals
$50/mo parking

Which means I could save $80.50 by not owning a car. That being said, having a car saves me about ten hours per month, and spending ten hours to save $80.50 is absolutely not worth my time. Even with a $400/mo car payment added to that, the extra time I would waste by not having the convenience of a car isn't worth the cost savings.
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