Think you could hack it?

Remember when... Thirty metro Atlantans started Zipcar’s Low-Car Diet yesterday. The 30 participants, chosen from 100 local applicants, got a free one-year Zipcar membership in exchange for agreeing to give up using their respective personal vehicles for one month and instead walk, bike, take transit or use Zipcar.

The free Zipcar membership (usually $50) is nice, but I think they could have made it a bit more interesting. Perhaps asking the participants to give up their cars for three months and giving them 10 or 12 hours of Zipcar driving credits each month. This would be the perfect time of year for it. Fall  (is it EVER going to be fall?) and our very mild early winter are about the best time of year for commuting al fresco.

Most of the people quoted in the AJC story sound like city-dwellers who aren’t particularly wedded to driving anyway. How about you? Could you make it for a month without your own car? How well (or badly) do you think you’d do? How would $60 (soon to be $68) per month for an unlimited MARTA pass, plus the cost of a few Zipcar trips per week – $7 to $10.25 per hour – compare with what you’re spending to get around every month now?

3 Comments so far

  1. abby on September 22nd, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    No car at all for a month would be doable but tough. I’m on a bike maybe 70% of the time. We’re a one-car household, but honestly, getting a week’s worth of groceries on a bike is a pain (I know we could be all European and go to the market every day or every other day, but we’re not fully set up for that just yet).

    Though I think we rely on convenience too much most of the time, and that it’s a sorry state that we’ve created with our sanitized worlds and lack of physical movement… on occasion it’s nice to drive in air conditioning for 12 minutes and arrive still smelling deodorized instead of huffing up hills for 30 and arriving with hair frizzed, sweat rings, and mascara underneath the eyes.

    That said, in nice weather I would happily have a car 1-2 days a week.

  2. Roxie (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    I live in Conyers. There’s no way I could do this. The nearest Marta station is 30 minutes away.

  3. Tamra (unregistered) on September 22nd, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    @ Roxie: Yeah this would be a big “no way” for a lot of people OTP. It’s really unfortunate that development was allowed to just blow past transit planning for so long that a lot of people would be literally stranded at home without a car.

    @ abby: I KNOW. I don’t have a car and I spend five months a year wishing I could just make it to…well, anywhere without needed to change clothes once I get there. I’m never without a Zip-loc bag full of baby wipes and a small bundle of paper towels. I can walk to Civic Center station in about ten minutes, but there are two Zipcars about the same distance away. About once a month this summer I’ve taken one of them somewhere mundane like Trader Joe’s or Target just for the novelty of being dry when I arrive someplace.

    I’m hoping to get a bike this winter, so next summer I’ll get even sweatier, but at least get places faster sometimes.

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