James D. Schwartz has an interesting post from earlier this spring about the cost of owning a car in terms of your time at work. The reality isn’t pretty:
- Motorists works 2 hours each day to pay for a car.
- Bicyclists work 3.8 minutes each day to pay for their bicycles.
(Obviously the costs are different depending upon one’s circumstances. The well-to-do work fewer hours for their cars. The poor work more.)
Yep, getting rid of my car gave me a huge pay raise. And it got me out from behind the wheel sitting in traffic — one of the top things Americans have cited as making them unhappy. It’s also a heath issue — all that sitting and all that stress. Win-win-win for me!
I have said this before: Using a bicycle for basic transportation in Springfield is easy. So easy. OMG it is easy. If it weren’t easy, I might not have stuck with it (because I just assumed it would be hard and that I’d end up driving a lot).
One thing, however: It helps to live close to your major destinations. That’s not a requirement. But if you live in a far-flung suburb surrounded by nothing but large traffic sewers, well, it’s going to be less easy. You can still practice the 1-mile Solution.