Monday, May 21, 2012

The future of cars - Updated

Interesting couple of updates to this post from 2 years ago.  My husband now has a contract out in Surrey, so he has to drive everyday.   This means that often he and I both need a car.  So it would seem that going down to one car is even less feasible than before.   But it also coincides with my son moving into a booster seat and getting ready to start school in September.  His new school is conveniently 2 blocks from a Modo Car Co-op car (Co-operative Auto Network rebranded this since original post).  His new school is about a 20 minute walk for us. So it has become more feasible for me to walk/bus my son to school, then grab a co-op car if I need to do any running around that day.  If I continue to work as a consultant, and not needing a vehicle everyday, I could see this being a very real option for us to get rid of my car.
Original post from April 2010...

We had friends over last weekend and I was surprised when they said they had driven to our house. This young urban couple with no kids are avid transit and environmental supporters and have no car.  So I was surprised to hear they had driven.  But they had had some special errands to run that day and needed a car.  They are members of the Co-operative Auto Network.  So they had a snazzy red hybrid for the afternoon and evening. 

I thought great on them.  I know when I first started my career in TO I went without a car for years.  It was especially funny as I worked on the Saturn, Saab, Isuzu advertising account.  But I was a junior and couldn't afford to have a car.   So the guys could laugh all they wanted. If they weren't going to pay for me to have a car, I wasn't going to pay for one myself.   If I had to drive out to GM in Oshawa, I rented a car and expensed it.  It was cheaper than taking a taxi.    But today it would have been much smarter for my company to have been part of the co-op.   I also would have LOVED a car co-op for those big grocery shopping, errand running days. 

With a young toddler and both my husband and myself currently self employed (and always on the run to one side of town to the next) a car co-op at first seems unrealistic for us.  I initially have visions of me on the bus, with a toddler and a car seat, making my way over to the co-op location about 12 blocks from our house. 

Most of the time we have 2 cars.  One of which is very busy running one of us across town for work or errands. The other is used a lot less.  In the summer we have 3 cars, as my husband has a vintage 1975 MG convertible.  In those months our "2nd" car is very much under-utilized.  Unfortunately the MG can't be used when running a toddler around.  So thus we have kept our second car.  We have considered selling it, but weren't sure how we'd coordinate on those days when we need 2 cars. 

I'm beginning to wonder if a car co-op might be a better 2nd car option for us.   It might require a bit of coordination.  And perhaps one of us driving the other over to the co-op location.  But it could be a viable way for us to reduce our car load, be more environmental and reduce our budget.

What about you? Could being a member in a car co-op allow you to get one (or more) of your cars off the road?


  1. Living in the suburbs, as I do, I have a hard time imagining using a co-op car. While I love the idea, the nearest location to my home is a 30-minute bus ride away. And with the two kids in tow, in potentially inclement weather, that sounds like a LONG 30 minutes. So we still have our two cars, although I feel kind of sheepish about that.

  2. Back living in TO again and planning to go down to one car. Even with all the challenges, the TTC still is the better way. Not sure if we are ready to go full cold turkey yet though...