The thought of voluntarily going carless in the Motor City sounds crazy to some folks.
Randy Essex, whose Free Press duties as senior content director include overseeing automotive coverage, writes a column headlined “I’ve decided to go carless in Detroit — and it’s liberating.” He and his wife live downtown and have decided to get by without owning wheels.
We’ve had to be creative sometimes, but the bottom line of pulling away from America’s car culture a little bit has amounted to trading convenience for monetary and space savings. We didn’t expect this, but we also gained some togetherness. We simply spend more time together and talk a bit more.
Now, we are living downtown again, facing rent, parking and insurance rates much higher than six years ago.
After several weeks of testing alternative modes of transportation, from the People Mover and QLine to Maven, ZipCar and Uber, we sold our only car a few days ago. Adding up the car payment, insurance and parking, we’ll save about $900 a month, not including gas and maintenance. Our alternative transportation costs will be much less.
Even the Motor City has changed enough to make this doable. With Whole Foods open and the QLINE operating, it’s easy to make a grocery run. My walk to work is a third of a mile. Even in the worst weather, it’ll be fine.