Monday, September 23, 2013

Letter from a Carfree woman for life!

"Hi Mr Poindexter:                                                                                      

I was reading the blog called car-free American and saw your wonderful article from December 2012. I have never owned a car in my entire life, mainly due to economics.

 I am a single black woman living in Columbus, Ohio. I work as a home based data entry operator and telephone customer service agent. I have had various office jobs over the past 20 years and have always used mass transit. I have been lucky to get jobs that were close to the bus lines. I never liked driving and did not really take any driving lessons until I was in my late thirties. I took some driving lessons at one of those driving schools and hated every minute of it. I was in a student driver car and the other drivers were so nasty and rude. If you drive at the proper speed limit, they get really mean and nasty. They will blow their horn at you and give you dirty looks. I took these lessons for about a few months back in 2002, but never did get my driver’s license because I could not pass the parking part of the road test. I decided to give up driving altogether and stick with walking and using mass transit. 

The bus system in Columbus, Ohio is called COTA, which stands for Central Ohio Transit Authority. I have been riding COTA for over 20 years.

 I do not regret being car free, especially in the last 5 years as gasoline prices have gone way up. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s,

 I used to get teased mercilessly at work and looked down upon because I did not own a car. Some times I would ignore these people and other days I would get depressed.  In the last few years, since gasoline is well over $3 a gallon, I don’t get teased as much as I used to. I think that the last recession brought many people to reality as far as over consumption is concerned. Now, I see many more people ride the COTA buses to work, school, grocery shopping, etc. COTA has recently expanded the bus routes and added newer, more efficient buses that run on biodiesel, natural gas and hybrids. In the downtown of Columbus, new bike racks have been installed. 

Many people of all income levels are either biking or using mass transit.

It was refreshing to read about someone like you who seems well-off, affluent and successful, ditch the car and go car-free. Now I see more people who are way better off than I am go car free or car lite.

 I am a single woman who makes less than $30,000 per year and a car would put me into bankruptcy. I only pay $62 per month for a local bus pass that allows me to travel all over Columbus. My condo is only a 5 to 10 minute walk to the bus stop. I also can walk to the post office and to the nearest shopping mall. I can take one bus to a really nice mall called Easton Town Center, which has everything.  Sorry for the long email, but I just needed someone to talk/write to that can relate to my situation. I also plan to get a bike sometime in 2014. I still will use the bus for most of my transportation needs, but want a bike for the exercise. 
Take care,
Sharon Lewis

What a great note Sharon! Thanks so much for sharing! You an inspiration.

Bill Poindexter aka Mr. Carfree American 


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