Life without a car – Challenge 1

In my previous post we saw how I began an experiment where I tried to live without a car, after moving to a brand new city. Rather than summarise everything into one post, I’ll be looking at the individual challenges that not having my own car posed. 

In this post I’ll look at the first challenge, which was the day to day experiences without a car.

Having come from a city where public transport was virtually non existent and I was always in my car. It was surprisingly easy to get used to the daily routine of trains trams and buses. What was really impressive was how how affordable the whole system was.

Back home a 40 minute bus ride into the city was at least $6. Which was ridiculous as the same journey would take around 20 minutes with a car and cost less than $2 in fuel. Here in Melbourne the equivalent journey takes between 20 and 30 minutes and costs around $5. And if that isn’t good enough the system caps your spending at $8. Meaning that once you have spent $8 on public transport within the city – you won’t pay a cent more for the rest of the day. Regardless of how much you travel.

Day to day travel was an absolute breeze – even if I had forgotten to work out my travel plan beforehand (which tended to happen a lot) there was an awesome little app that provided live updates on travel. Combined with the ease of organising myself and the cost cap, I almost didn’t even look at how much I was spending.

After the first week settling I began to prepare for my new job. Which would be starting soon, was out in the country side and was a 75 minute commute away. Preparing for the worst, I began to research the cost of daily travel to and from the city.

$8, each way. I couldn’t believe it. A journey this long in my old city would not have been possible for this money. Actually it wouldn’t be possible at all as the trains didn’t run that far.

So while daily travel was perfectly fine, the real challenge came when I started to set up a more permanent base.

Coming up next: House hunting without a car.

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