How To Live Well Without Owning A Car: Save money, breathe easier, and get more mileage out of life is an informative, inspirational guidebook to going carless. Or car-less, hyphenated, as Chris Balish's 2006 book describes in this gem of a going carless book. I read the first half in almost one sitting.
Part One goes into How to Live Well Without Owning A Car, why you're better off without a car, and highlights quotes from satisfied former car-owners throughout the country including cities big like Los Angeles and small cities like San Luis Obispo. How and why they gave up their car emphasized.
The rest of the book goes into getting to work, places outside work, and suggestions for what to do with all that money you'll save.
While Chris promotes walking, buses, trains, even carpooling at times, he also mentions the possibility of riding bicycles and motorcycles defensively in cities. Living in Los Angeles, I would disagree, certainly in this city. More power to you if you can ride safely near cars with distracted drivers all over the place and remain safe. I personally would pass.
Google Maps/Google Transit
In my first month solely relying on buses and my feet, I found google maps, or google transit helpful. Type in your starting and ending addresses, hit the bus icon, and multiple routes, including the next bus (if that's what you're waiting for) pop up. Nonetheless, I recommend studying the major bus lines route map first, and have ideas of bus lines that traverse where you want to go. Sometimes, my knowledge helps more than the Google Map suggestions.
Before you take the next job, or make the next move, I encourage you to think out how you'll use public transportation -- figure it into your equations for your health, the planet's health, your pocketbook, and stress-free living.
More on going carless
Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence by Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy - This is an AWESOME book I checked out at the library. It tells the history of cars, the most sustainable cities in the world and why, and the most sustainable public transit cities in America and why. How you too can go carfree, and promote better conditions to do so in your cities and towns.
Divorce Your Car! Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile by Katie Alvord - I haven't read this but Chris Balish highly recommends and Katie has a blog here.
It Dawned On Me: A Year Of Going Carless by Francesca Arabella Brava - Excellent blog post, totally inspiring...
Forbes Magazine recently wrote about why people are increasingly giving up their cars here.
Books on the oil industry
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Power, and Money by Daniel Gergin - This may be the best book ever written on the history of oil and the automobile industry. Highly recommend!
The Party's Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies by Richard Heinberg - I haven't read this book but it's on my list.
Photo taken while walking in Marin County on a family visit. When you walk, you see more.
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