Carless

“Good for you,” some people say when I tell them I don’t own a car.

I think they probably mean, “Good for you for saving the world.” But not owning a car actually is good for me. I like not buying, fixing, parking, fueling and paying insurance on a car. I like taking the bus to work—25 minutes to drink coffee, check Facebook and read the news on my phone.

And I like bicycling home. I put my bike on the bus in the morning—because who wants to wake up early to sweat? Then I intentionally miss the bus in the afternoon, giving me great motivation to exercise: I have to get back! While some people race to the gym to spin in place, I spin 12 miles through Lancaster County scenery. It’s the perfect end to a workday—fresh air, sore muscles and time to unwind.

Living without a car is easy in Lancaster. I can quickly walk or bike downtown. Red Rose Transit Authority buses leave punctually, and their new app tracks the location of each bus. Amtrak and Bieber Tourways connect to Philadelphia and New York. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has several convenient locations and, yes, they pick you up.

When I see how stressed and angry drivers get on the road I wonder if they know: cars don’t have to control us. They can be just another way to get around.


Winner, “Dump the Pump” essay contest from Commuter Services of Pennsylvania, 2015