Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ditching My Car?

I've been driving since I was 16. Driving is, of course, a rite of passage for American teenagers. But driving has also been a necessity since I joined the workforce (and during my four years commuting to UC Irvine).

Now that I'm relocating to LA, that's changing. LA's MTA is building the Expo Line, which will offer two stops within a five minute walk of my office. My employer, USC, also operates several tram lines that connect to LA's burgeoning rail transit system. So when I move this fall, you can be sure I'll move somewhere close to a Metro Rail stop. (Right now, we're leaning towards the Gold Line, but the Red Line is an option, too.)

The Expo Line that someday will possibly take me to work

It won't be my first experience commuting to work via public transit. When I spent a summer of 2003 in the Washington, DC, area for an internship, I took the Metro from my apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland to my office in Alexandria, Virginia. (Don't ask.) It wasn't the most convenient way to get there, but I loved being able to relax and simply read. Driving, especially when you have to deal with traffic and stoplights, can be stressful.

I'm even considering selling my car. Why make payments -- and pay for parking -- on a car that will sit in the garage almost all the time? I have a certain friend who did something similar a while ago, and even blogged about it. Turned out well for her!

And besides, as others too are realizing, car ownership isn't what it used to be.