Car culture in the United States is strong. Many people can’t fathom commuting without their car. However, others don’t fall into that category. For some, the idea of a no-car commute is incredibly enticing.
At times, those who favor the car-free approach do it for environmental reasons. They want to reduce their carbon emissions, and driving as little as possible can help them do just that. Others simply prefer not to drive or would rather avoid automotive maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs.
Regardless of the reason, it is possible to embrace the no-car commute. While it does take additional planning, it offers many benefits, too.
If you want to see what car-free options may be worth trying, here’s what you need to know about navigating the no-car commute.
The majority of major cities and a decent percentage of smaller towns have public transit options. Usually, this involves transportation options like buses, trains, or subways.
If you live in an area with a robust public transit system, explore the various options. Look at the bus, train, and subways schedules. See if there are pick-up and drop-off points near your home and workplace. Consider the quality of any bus stops, especially if you may be waiting while it’s raining or snowing or during the hotter or colder months.
Usually, taking public transit takes longer than driving yourself, so you need to account for the additional commute time. Also, consider what you can do with the time your riding. You may be able to get some work done, read, listen to podcasts, or simply relax, which is a benefit worth considering.
Carpooling or Vanpooling
If you and one or more coworkers live in the same area and have similar work schedules, a carpool or vanpool arrangement might be ideal. It’s essentially a lite version of the car-free commute, as you aren’t the only one driving (or may not have to drive at all, depending on the agreement between you).
Like public transit, you’ll get to spend most (if not all) of your commutes without having to worry about driving. It can also be an opportunity to bond with your colleagues, as you’ll be spending more non-work time together.
Just make sure you can all agree about how the arrangement will function. This includes who is driving when, whether riders need to chip in for gas, pick-up and drop-off times, and any other aspect of the carpooling venture.
Walking or Biking
Anyone who lives close to work might be able to walk or bike to work. Not only is it a car-free approach, but it also helps you squeeze in some exercise.
If you’re considering this option, you’ll need to take a close look at your journey. Are there bike paths or sidewalks the entire way? Is it relatively safe? Is it well-lit?
Additionally, you’ll have to decide how you’ll handle it if the weather isn’t ideal for walking or biking. Consider both precipitation and the temperature, particularly if extreme weather is somewhat common in your area. You may have to ensure that an alternative form of transportation is available on days when walking or biking doesn’t make sense.
Ultimately, having a no-car commute is possible. Just make sure that you do a little planning and time how long your route takes before you start. That way, you can use your preferred method and make sure that you’ll arrive to work on time.
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If you’d like to know more about how you can master your commute, the staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today.