Year on year I see apartment building car parks becoming emptier and emptier or full of cars parked collecting dust. Now after moving to the inner city myself and speaking to other apartment dwellers, I can understand why! Let’s face it, cars are expensive to buy and equally so to maintain. What about when you circle the block 10 times and when you finally park, you have to pay a fortune in parking only to worry about rushing back in time to avoid a fine. If you're using your own car infrequently, surely you've thought about the alternatives.
Well, for those of us lucky enough to live in the inner city, here are just 4 alternatives if you are thinking of ditching your car.
Want the benefits of private vehicle use without the costs and responsibilities of owning a car? That’s where share cars comes in. Rather than owning one or more vehicles, you have access to a fleet of shared-use cars when needed. With more and more companies popping up, there’s an abundance to choose from and they are never far away. Once you become a member, you can make bookings online and get into a car within a few minutes.
The obvious one. Melbourne remains one of the best-connected cities in Australia. Like most major cities, we’ve got buses and trains, but what Melbourne is really known for is its extensive tram network of which the entire CBD and some of its surrounds are free. There’s nothing better than free! Whether you opt for a tram, catch a bus, or take a train, you can get pretty much anywhere in Melbourne car-free and with the increasing traffic in Melbourne you can often get there quicker. All you need is an adventurous spirit and a Myki card.
Electric scooters, bikes and skateboards have become a symbol of modern urban transport; they’re a common sight in big cities such as Paris, Madrid, and San Francisco. The trend looks set to move in only one direction – upwards! Electric scooters are perhaps the most portable mode of powered personal transport. They’re light and fold up, allowing for easy storage. Our storeroom in the office is fast becoming a charging station as more of our colleagues pick up the trend.
Walking/cycling vs driving is a no-brainer. The most obvious is that it’s good exercise and great for your health. Unlike running and many other high impact sports, it carries a very low risk of injury. We all know how hard it can be to carve out time to work out, so if you’re walking everywhere you go, you’re at least getting some regular exercise throughout your day with the added benefit of vitamin D and fresh air.
In summary, even if you don’t throw away the car keys for good just yet there are so many good alternatives to think about before you leave the house for your next outing. I mean, tell me sitting on the free tram reading a book doesn’t sound better than sitting in traffic looking at the back of another car.