348s

The Road Away From Cars

Technological and societal transformations are things that everyone can observe over a period of time (and even predict), but rarely is one aware of these changes as they are happening, and specifically, at the moment the trend become a reality.

For the next 7 months, I am working 12KM from my house.
By car, this trip takes between 35-50 minutes (depending on traffic) and by public transit, it takes an unpleasant 1:10+ with 3-4 different bus transfers.

At any point before this year, I would have almost certainly purchased a car. My annual expenses on transportation would be something along the lines of:
$10,000 per year on car expenses (cost of buying/renting car, insurance, gas, repairs etc).
$350 on public transit
$200 on taxis

This year is different.
Every day, I am taking Uberpools to and from work at a cost of $6 per tripI)Uber is currently running a promotion where there is a $6 flat rate during commuting hours for Uberpool. While there is no guarantee that this promotion continues indefinitely, I suspect it will. Similar subsidized flat rate fares exist in other major cities. While Uber loses out in the short-term on these trips, they do a great job of promoting Uberpool and getting more people (like me) comfortable ditching cars, and becoming more reliant on Uber, which is tremendously valuable for Uber’s long term goals.. The Uberpools take on average 10 minutes longer than driving, but in addition to being far cheaper than driving, are less stressful and more enjoyable.

My annual transportation expenses now look like this:
$3500 Uber
$400 on public transit
$0 for carsII)I am incredibly fortunate that I am able to use my parents car whenever I am in a situation where I truly need a car

If Ubers pricing continues indefinitely, it is very likely that I won’t have to buy a car this year. If I make it through this year without buying a car, with the advancements in autonomous vehicles, the probability that I will have to buy a car going forward drastically diminishes. For the first time, I now believe that I will never own a car in my lifetime. That is a serious technological and sociological shift in our world.III)I understand that some people have always lived without cars, and that similarly, tons of people will still require cars going forward; I am only describing my story here

Notes   [ + ]

I. Uber is currently running a promotion where there is a $6 flat rate during commuting hours for Uberpool. While there is no guarantee that this promotion continues indefinitely, I suspect it will. Similar subsidized flat rate fares exist in other major cities. While Uber loses out in the short-term on these trips, they do a great job of promoting Uberpool and getting more people (like me) comfortable ditching cars, and becoming more reliant on Uber, which is tremendously valuable for Uber’s long term goals.
II. I am incredibly fortunate that I am able to use my parents car whenever I am in a situation where I truly need a car
III. I understand that some people have always lived without cars, and that similarly, tons of people will still require cars going forward; I am only describing my story here