Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One Less Car in Austin

When we decided to move into Downtown Austin, we had another decision to make. Would we pay the extra money to park two cars in our parking garage?

Parking is one of the challenges of living downtown. It is expensive and there are not a lot of spaces. We decided to make this challenge an opportunity to get rid of one of our cars. This was a decision that a lot of people did not understand. How are you both going to get around? What if Billy has to travel somewhere using the car? People kept questioning the decision. But it has now been more than six weeks since we got rid of a car, and I can tell you that it was the right decision.

Since going to only one car, Ashley and I have had to work on our communication. Every week/day we double check our calendars to see who needs to car. Sharing a car is easy with good communication and planning. We also get to spend extra time together when we ride to work together.

In Austin, there are a lot of Public Transportation options. Our new place downtown is only a couple blocks from a Capital MetroRail stop and Ashley works close to another stop. She has used the MetroRail a few times when it was tough for me to pick her up. She loves riding that thing! We also purchased a Car2Go membership and we have utilized that a few times so far. Last week we took a Car2Go to First Thursday on South Congress and then we walked back to our place. It was great exercise. The week before we went to a great event at the Hyatt on Barton Springs and we did the same thing.

Walking has not killed us yet. Neither has using Public Transportation. Improving our communication and planning has actually improved our marriage. How about that? And most important, we have taken a car (actually a gas guzzling SUV) off the road in Austin. For all of our Austin readers, you know how great that is.

The November elections are right around the corner and in Austin, transportation is a huge issue. Keep in mind that our political leaders will not solve our transportation issues. WE need to play a major role in this. We can do this by taking personal responsibility. Everyone can use Public Transportation. Everyone can find times to carpool. Ashley and I own only one car and we couldn't be happier.

I challenge you to look at your life and see how you can simplify things. Can you get rid of a car? Can you take the bus or the rail this trip? Can you ride with someone to that happy hour? Mobility Week is coming up in Austin (10/20-10/24). Learn more about what you can do that week to improve mobility is Austin. I promise it will make a difference and it won't kill you.

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