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Old 05-02-2013, 08:34 AM
 
11,179 posts, read 22,400,541 times
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Compared to growing up in the 80's I certainly hear more negative views of owning a car. Young people are still in love with them for the most part, but there's a big group out there that didn't exist before where they whine about not having any public transit options and are open to the idea of just getting rid of it. Here in Chicago most of the young people I know in their 20's moving to the city are very excited at the prospect of freeing themselves from the financial and physical responsibilties of having to deal with a car when they are living somewhere that they don't need one. I would say well over half of the 20's/30's year old people I know ditched their cars.

It's certainly not mainstream everywhere in the country because it's not possible in most places, but compared to the 60's through the early 90's cars have lost a ton of their luster. Expensive gas, the feeling you're trapped HAVING to own a car, horrible traffic in many cities, the cost of maint., etc. Cars are more of a pain in the butt now than ever before.

 
Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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My niece had to be forced to learn to drive at an age where her mother (my sister) already had her second car, living in a small town far upstate NY with no transit. Growing up riding around strapped in a back seat, being driven everywhere, video chatting with your friends on your device, who needs to drive?
 
Old 05-02-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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I work with a lot of "well off" young adults from other countries--countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, specifically.

They are all very proud and happy to have the opportunity to own and drive cars in the United States. Not because they have to drive, because they WANT TO. They would show off their cars to others, post pictures on Facebook, modify the cars, etc.

In their home countries and cities, owning a car is so inconvenient and costly that car ownership isn't really an option for some of them.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,217,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
William Kunstler has said "Many people have bought their last automobile, they just don't know it yet."

Prophetic words?
Except that he said it something like 15 years ago. I've bought my last car 7 or 8 times since I first heard it.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,704 posts, read 4,677,806 times
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It's true that in MOST areas in this country it's very inconvenient NOT to have a car. But that's not why most of us have cars- it's because to us, this is the best form of transportation. Sure if we had trains that went straight down from our neighborhoods to our work places we'd use it for work commuting, but we wouldn't give up our cars. Because we want it to haul the kids to soccer practice, to pick up a week's worth of groceries at the grocery store, to run a day's worth of errands involving many, many stops all over town, or to make that impromptu saturday drive to the mountains for a little sight seeing. Even the best mass transit would not really accommodate this the way that a car does. Cars give us the freedom to go anywhere we want at any time of the day or night, in our own personal comfortable space with storage space if needed.
I have relatives in China, in a major city that has great public transportation. But there is a huge flaw in that which they are even annoyed with- if they want to get out of the city to some spot out in the countryside it means taking the subway with two connections to other trains along the way, followed by changing over to a bus to get them out to whatever that attraction may be. If they could have a car, it would be as easy as just hopping on the highway and going. And that is if they are fortunate enough that the place they are going is actually a tourist spot that has bus service. If they wanted to go to a remote place in the mountains to go hiking? Well that just wouldn't happen, no bus will go there, so if they don't have a car they can't get there. It's why even in a place like China, with its stellar mass transit, car ownership rates are exploding. Even in those cramped cities with horrible traffic, most who can afford it are now buying cars.

That's the kind of freedom we like in having cars. If you rely only on mass transit, you are basically a slave to having to stay within your city/metro area, and are extremely limited on where you can go outside of that metro area. Most of us would not want to live that way. No matter how awesome my city is, there is no way I'd want to feel that I can't ever go outside of the city, that I can't just hop in the car and go up to one of my many favorite remote spots in the mountains for sight seeing and photography.

This is long winded, but basically what I'm getting at is that in the future when mass transit gets better in more cities I am sure we'll see less people COMMUTING TO WORK by car on a daily basis, but I don't think people will give up their cars altogether, for the many reasons I listed above. Most of us would like a combination of both, so we can have our cars but yet not have to put so many miles on them by using them every day for that trip to and from work.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 10:27 AM
 
11,179 posts, read 22,400,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm31828 View Post
It's true that in MOST areas in this country it's very inconvenient NOT to have a car. But that's not why most of us have cars- it's because to us, this is the best form of transportation. Sure if we had trains that went straight down from our neighborhoods to our work places we'd use it for work commuting, but we wouldn't give up our cars. Because we want it to haul the kids to soccer practice, to pick up a week's worth of groceries at the grocery store, to run a day's worth of errands involving many, many stops all over town, or to make that impromptu saturday drive to the mountains for a little sight seeing.
Well everything is relative. Almost all of my friends live on the north side of Chicago and work downtown. There is a train that goes straight from our neighborhoods to our work places and we use it for commuting, but actually the very first thing everyone did is get rid of their cars. You don't get a weeks worth of groceries and haul it all home, you just grab stuff on the way home or when you're out shopping. there are tons of trains and buses to get you all around the neighborhood, and dozens of shops and restaurants/grocery options within a 5-10 minute walk for most people. I think you're looking at it from the frame of mind of people who live in the suburbs and have a bunch of kids and are just use to driving everywhere. For those people it makes sense, but for the millions of singles and young couples living in the city that isn't the case. It's very liberating not to have to worry about your car all the time, and especially not PAYING for one if you can get away with it in the city.

It's all extremely relative to where you live and what your life situation is. I have friends making well over $100K with very little debt or financial obligations but they quickly choose to not buy a car. They have no use for one because that's how they live their lives.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 01:11 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 27 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,031 posts, read 102,707,476 times
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Do you think the recession had anything to do with not wanting a car?

Detroit Boosted By Truck Sales; Honda, Nissan Gain : NPR
**DETROIT (AP) Ford, GM, Chrysler and Nissan all reported double-digit U.S. sales increases last month, signaling the best April for car and truck sales in six years.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,704 posts, read 4,677,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
Well everything is relative. Almost all of my friends live on the north side of Chicago and work downtown. There is a train that goes straight from our neighborhoods to our work places and we use it for commuting, but actually the very first thing everyone did is get rid of their cars. You don't get a weeks worth of groceries and haul it all home, you just grab stuff on the way home or when you're out shopping. there are tons of trains and buses to get you all around the neighborhood, and dozens of shops and restaurants/grocery options within a 5-10 minute walk for most people. I think you're looking at it from the frame of mind of people who live in the suburbs and have a bunch of kids and are just use to driving everywhere. For those people it makes sense, but for the millions of singles and young couples living in the city that isn't the case. It's very liberating not to have to worry about your car all the time, and especially not PAYING for one if you can get away with it in the city.

It's all extremely relative to where you live and what your life situation is. I have friends making well over $100K with very little debt or financial obligations but they quickly choose to not buy a car. They have no use for one because that's how they live their lives.
Very good points, and true that it is relative to the lifestyles and desires of each individual. It depends on how mobile people want to be, many people don't have desire to leave the city or metro area much at all, and for those people- especially the singles you refer to- a car is probably completely unnecessary. But a lot of people are very mobile, especially out here on the west coast where there is so much nature to go out and take advantage of- that there is a traffic jam heading out of the metro area every weekend, people heading to the mountains to go camping or to their cabins, or to the lakes for boating, or just for day trips sight seeing as I mentioned before. People need cars for that, will never be able to have mass transit taking them to the remote lakes and mountains- and it's that type of freedom that I think a large portion of Americans have and never want to give up.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 02:21 PM
 
740 posts, read 1,881,782 times
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I live in a city with decent transit. I have a car, but I plan to get rid of it and haven't used it for several months. I take the bus everywhere, even to Costco (although I look dumb doing so, lol). It's relatively convenient (near transit which takes me very close to work).

IF for some reason I really really needed a car for the weekend, I could rent one via Avis, Enterprise, or use Zipcar. Infact a lot of Apartment buildings around here (the nicer ones, anyway) have ZipCars within their parking garages for resident use at discounted rates.

Combine ZipCar + a card such as American Express for free rental coverage and you're cooking w/ kerosene.
 
Old 05-02-2013, 02:29 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,113,707 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emerald_octane View Post
Combine ZipCar + a card such as American Express for free rental coverage and you're cooking w/ kerosene.
Yep. This is exactly what many I know do.
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