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?