Owning a vehicle

It irks me that so many people in this city seem to think one needs a vehicle. Barring any special circumstances (e.g. certain disabilities, or having a lot of young kids to cart around), you really don't need one here. Maybe if you have to commute *really* far to and from work (e.g. Abbotsford-Vancouver)... But even if it's a fair distance, if you have the option of transit (e.g. Surrey-Vancouver), taking the train and a bus or two is probably faster than sitting behind the wheel and dealing with overturned semi-trucks etc. for over two hours. Cars are really, really nice to have, sure. They're convenient as hell. I miss being able to just slide behind the wheel of my own car and go wherever I want in a shorter amount of time, keeping dry from the rain, not having to wait around for a bus or train that's late, dealing with overcrowding... But I've lived both lifestyles throughout my life, and a car is simply not necessary. They're money pits, let's be honest -- and in an already expensive city with low median incomes, shelling out every month for exorbitant insurance and gas and maintenance really hurts most people's bank accounts. Not to mention that cars are shit for our environment... So it's annoying when people express genuine surprise when others don't own cars. It happens to me frequently. Are these people from out of town places where it's unthinkable not to own one? Have they never taken the bus or train here? What's the deal? PS - this topic makes me even more angry when I remember all the people who voted 'no' in that referendum... We need to think about the future. Better public transit makes for better living in cities. Period.

29 Comments

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Anonymous

Mar 27, 2019 at 1:38pm

Okay so you admit you cannot afford to drive a car. Vancouver transit sucks, btw. That's why no one in their right mind wants to take it.

?

Mar 27, 2019 at 1:51pm

Love sitting on a bus, sea bus, skytrain and then another bus for over an hour and not driving home in 15 minutes.

Reality check

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:05pm

Well, clearly, you know best, and your opinion is the last word on everyone's lifestyle. Period. /s
Hopefully, you're younger than 30, because that's the cutoff of youthful omniscience for the ignorant, and arrogance or delusions of grandeur for everyone else.
Last year, there were about 86 million new vehicles sold worldwide (documented sale). And only a small fraction were not IC engines. About a fifth of that just in North America, likely half of which larger crossovers and trucks. This doesn't include untold millions of motorcycles, widely preferred in poorer parts of the world.
That's in just one year. And a relatively slow year, at that. Not counting second-hand, used, third-party and barter deals.
So, all those people obviously don't know any better than you?
I trust that you enjoy being angry, because there are decades of that ahead of you.

i agree

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:15pm

with everything youre saying but lets be pro choice here. just like owning a baby...
or having a baby...owning a car.
same thing, if you can afford it, take care of it etc etc do it!
ps regarding the environment, i can think of so many other things that do way more damage than cars.

9 14Rating: -5

Anonymous

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:18pm

When a 24 km trip via transit doesn’t take 90 minutes I’ll happily ditch the car. Until then, speak for yourself.

Mitch

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:36pm

If everyone decided to park their cars and take transit the lineups for buses and trains would be miles long.

20 9Rating: +11

Amy234567

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:45pm

I support better public transit and I support bike lanes. But I currently find it hard to give up my car. I commute from New West to downtown for work. I would gladly take the train but I have a child in daycare and it’s just not realistic for most people with kids. Child care is difficult to find at all, so it would be really lucky to snatch a placement close enough for a quick walk from home. I can’t afford to live much closer to downtown tech job, even though I make a decent salary. Cities have to be designed from the ground up (or significantly transformed) to support a mix of housing, work, shopping and services everywhere. Not pockets of homes here, pockets of shopping there, pockets of good jobs there.

16 6Rating: +10

Not necessary but convenient

Mar 27, 2019 at 2:56pm

Speaking as a single person who doesn't like to drive due to stress. Sure, you can survive without a car if you live in a city with good public transit. I did it during school, and I avoid driving as much as possible. But there are many situations when you could use a car even as a single person without kids. If you buy groceries in bulk, or need to pick up furniture or large items. If you ever go on a trip outside Vancouver, for example to the US or Whistler. Even if you stay in Vancouver, and want to have barbecue on the beach, you need to carry all the equipment with you. I can probably think of hundreds of other situations in which it would be highly convenient to have a car. You could just buy a used car or rent a car for those few times you might need one. I can definitely see why people have them. I had to go through a lot of trouble sometimes when I didn't have a car.

20 4Rating: +16

Cars

Mar 27, 2019 at 3:18pm

I spent my whole adult life without a car until this last year. It has changed my life for the better. It allowed me to take a job that I would have had to bus commute for an hour, that only takes me 20 minutes to get to by car. My job requires me to carry equipment that is almost impossible to take on the bus, everyone glares when I do. Even without those things the quality of life that I've found has changed. Especially the ability to visit friends out of town and family that lives in the Okanagan. I bike commute when I can and I take transit when it is convenient. I do think that the better answer is increased, more frequent, clean, and spacious public transport but I waited for 15 years of my adult life, tried some advocacy work, and it didn't happen. How about a storage compartment on transit for my bag and equipment? ha good luck.

13 6Rating: +7

am i doing it right

Mar 27, 2019 at 3:41pm

i paid less than $2000 for my car, buy one tank of gas a month, walk to work + groceries and only use it when i need to do an errand
not everyone uses theirs the same i guess

13 6Rating: +7

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