As the purchase of new tyres and another regular service looms, I’ve been theorising: assuming worse-case scenario, that nothing else changes and there is no great revolution in public transport that sees the whole city given usable services to everywhere, could I get rid of my car without going crazy?
The main thing at the moment is getting the kids to school in the morning, which is far easier by car because of the distance involved and the lack of PT (that is without having to change services between a train and an infrequent half-hourly bus). Once they’re at high school (in 2, and 4 years respectively) they’ll be under their own steam, walking or riding their bikes.
My trip to work is a simple 10 minute walk and a train ride. Assuming that remains the same, no need for the car on most weekdays.
The problem would be evenings (the trains fall back to only half-hourly, most of the buses shut up shop) and weekends (trains barely adequate at every 20 minutes; buses pretty-much unusuable). Most of my family live nearby, or near railway stations, but other destinations would be awkward.
The bicycle’s a goer if the weather’s nice. Cycling and walking more would do my fitness the world of good.
For the rainy or rushed days there’s always taxis I suppose, and even with a few pricey cab fares a month, monetary wise I’d still be in front. Maybe if the suburb gets a little denser (in population growth, rather than mind power) a car-sharing service will open up nearby.
My conclusion is that unless we see much more frequent PT services, I would go crazy on the weekends, thus I’d keep the car for at least some trips.
Now, if we get hit by the sort of price-hikes in petrol expected to be prompted by Peak Oil. Petrol $2… $5… $10 per litre? Ka-ching! That might make a big difference.