Sunday, December 25, 2011

Counterculture things done in a new car showroom (July 11, 2009)

Current mood: argumentative

Through an odd quirk of fate, I found myself parked for an hour in a new-car showroom this afternoon. I'd accompanied someone to a meeting near Greensburg, and as it was OK by me for him to run this errand at a Honda dealer, I brought along some stuff to do.

Mainly transit stuff, of course. Where else but in a car dealership would one work on public transit activities?

Also while there, and while my friend waited for his car to be worked on, we talked about ZipCar®. While rates vary by city, in essence you pay a one-time and/or an annual fee for the privilege of being able to rent a car by the hour. In Pittsburgh, it's a one-time $25 fee, an annual $50 fee, then about $10/hour. Kinda pricy, but a pile cheaper than the cost of owning a car, especially a second car.

Think about that. With ZipCar®, and public transit, and of course bicycles, there really is not much need to buy a new car. The cheapest car in the room was about $18K.

You see the irony in that, of course: I'm doing my level best to make cars unnecessary, in the mouth of the demon itself.

1 comment:

bus15237 said...

Comments on the original 2009 blog post:

Pittsburgh should implement what London England does. Charge everyone 50 bucks to drive into the city. There would be a lot more people who would use public transit if they had to pay 50 bucks every time they had to drive into the city. And the way to collect it would be at the tunnels. Fort Pitt, Liberty and Squirrel Hill.

Stuart Strickland
Well, actually, no, you're missing the point. The point is not not to drive into the city, the point is not to own a car. And to discuss not owning a car while sitting in an automobile showroom.

I don't buy into the charge-people-to-commute-into-town idea. That will have the effect of driving business out to the suburbs, which will cause us to become even more dependent on cars than we are already. Short term gain, long term loss. The point is not to drive at all, if it can at all be helped.