Car Ownership

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alleycat
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Car Ownership

Postby alleycat » March 14th, 2014, 1:43 pm

I think this calls for a poll. How many cars in your household and make? Need to make bike/feet/bus an option.
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min-chi-cbus
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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 14th, 2014, 3:18 pm

One for the four of us: Ford Fusion, 2012 (not including the stored VW, of course ;-)

I take the local train.

go4guy
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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby go4guy » March 15th, 2014, 11:31 am

2 for 2 of us. 06 and 12 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Biking and mass transit are not really an option for us

mplser
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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby mplser » March 15th, 2014, 11:35 am

My '00 camry mostly stays in my garage

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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby skyrab » March 15th, 2014, 12:30 pm

Okay you got me...I drive a 2012 VW, my wife drives a 2013 Honda and my 2 college kids share a 2007 Nissan Sentra, 14 year old dreaming of Driver's-Ed...so 3 for 5 of us.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby seanrichardryan » March 15th, 2014, 2:13 pm

I think this fascinating discussion deserves a thread of its own. Yes?
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alleycat
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Re: Latitude 45 - (301 Washington Avenue South)

Postby alleycat » March 15th, 2014, 10:09 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:I think this fascinating discussion deserves a thread of its own. Yes?
I was hoping someone would do that. My main point in creating the poll is to illustrate my educated guess that most of us are choice transit users and have access to at least a car.
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mamundsen
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby mamundsen » March 16th, 2014, 7:05 am

2 in my house. I drive a 2005 Chevy Colorado and my wife drives a 2010 Camry. Depending on my new job location and hours I hope to use transit for work soon. She is a teacher which rules out bus use for work. I am getting her to try transit more and more. For instance last night we went to St Paul's W 7th St Patty's tents. I am very glad we used transit. It was a mad house down there!!!

talindsay
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby talindsay » March 16th, 2014, 7:54 am

We were a single car household for ten years but when our daughter started school we needed a second car to make the schedule work. I drive a Fiat 500 and my wife drives a VW sportwagen TDi. I also have a motorcycle and a couple of scooters so my average fleet economy is about 70 mpg. And everything is manual, I want to be engaged in the process.

twincitizen
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby twincitizen » March 16th, 2014, 10:41 am

05 Acura TL here. I drive it maybe 6k miles per year. I resist driving to destinations within Minneapolis, which is pretty easy living in Whittier. My car goes to and from work 5 days a week, and that's about it. I walk for restaurants, bars, groceries, etc. Throw in biking to work once/week when the weather cooperates.

If transit were faster/more frequent along existing bus lines, I would seriously look at ditching the car, as my job in a first-ring suburb is very accessible...it's just not time-competitive with driving right now. Add in walking to & waiting at the bus stop, and we're talking about 45 minutes vs. 11-12 minute commute (door-to-door). I can't just throw away an entire hour every day of my life, even though I'd theoretically much prefer taking transit to driving.

The car is paid off, my insurance is pretty cheap, and I spend little on gas. Between depreciation, regular maintenance, gas, and insurance, I'm almost certainly paying less than what it would cost for a monthly metropass + occasional rental. My commute to work is relatively short at 6 miles and parking is free, so driving is actually the most cost-effective option. And that just breaks my little urbanist heart. If car insurance companies didn't totally screw city dwellers, car ownership would be even more cost-effective. It's crazy how badly they are bending us city folk over compared to suburbanites.

Snelbian
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Snelbian » March 16th, 2014, 10:49 am

One 2013 Honda Fit for three (four in a few weeks) of us. My wife has a ten minute bus commute into downtown Saint Paul and I'm a stay at home dad - almost all of my daily travel is done on foot, bus, or cargo bike. The car only really gets used on days with temps below 0 if I'm running an errand with kids, if my wife has missed a bus and is in a rush, or to visit our parents in the suburbs. In a good month during the summer I fill the tank once. Twice a month in winter, though I'm working on reducing that.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby FISHMANPET » March 16th, 2014, 4:45 pm

I bought a 2013 Chevy Spark for my wife and I last august. It only gets driven a couple times per week, I'm currently at about 2600 miles.

I use Progressive for insurance, because I used the snapshot discount to cut my insurance in half.

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mister.shoes
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby mister.shoes » March 16th, 2014, 4:50 pm

2007 VW GTI manual for me. 2005.5 VW Jetta 2.5 auto for my wife. We live in S MPLS, but she teaches in Eagan and I work in the far end of Edina, so we're stuck with two cars for the foreseeable future. My wife *hates* to drive (especially in bad weather) and I like to be green, so we'd both like it if we worked closer to home.
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alleycat
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby alleycat » March 16th, 2014, 8:28 pm

2010 Honda Insight for the three of us and we live in the Jordan neighborhood. I'm a freelance photographer and the wife nannies in North. Put most of the miles on it for shoots, travel to eastern Wisconsin (where our families are from) and camping trips. We do about 12K a year.

I actually give clients a bikeable distance discount, which really amounts to an urbanist discount since I have to drive sometimes due to equipment. Wife and I bike around the city about nine months of the year. We try to walk/bike to the nearby Penn/Broadway and Penn/Lowry business nodes, but not as many business as we had back near Stevens Square when we lived there. This is one of the reasons I'm looking at selling and renting at the A Mill renovation.
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nordeast homer
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby nordeast homer » March 17th, 2014, 10:49 am

I drive an 03 Honda Accord for work, and average about 20k a year on it. My wife drives an 07 Freestyle and maybe averages 8 - 10k per year depending on work travel. My wife takes the bus when she can, but picking kids up from daycare can be tricky if she has a late meeting so it usually means driving about 3 days a week. The Freestyle gets pretty lousy gas mileage, but I don't think we'll be able to replace it for a while yet.

QuietBlue
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby QuietBlue » March 17th, 2014, 1:35 pm

'99 Ford Taurus for me. I live in a suburb, but work in an adjacent suburb, so I only put about 7-8K miles on it per year, with about half of that coming from non-work driving. When I worked downtown, it was much less, since I took transit.

I could take the bus to my office, but it would actually cost more on a weekly basis and would take longer as well. The main advantage would be saving wear and tear on my vehicle.

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Cyclotron
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Cyclotron » March 17th, 2014, 2:49 pm

2011 VW Golf gets the most workout - about 10K miles per year, split between my wife and me. She takes the bus DT Minnenowhere during the winter and drives in the rest of the year. We also have a '95 Acura Legend that I drive to my job in GV. I'm going to say less than 3K miles a year is put on that car. My son has the 2007 Honda Accord with him in Eau Claire for college. I'm going to guess from as little as he comes home to visit that he puts about 500 miles a year on it.

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David Greene
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby David Greene » March 17th, 2014, 2:55 pm

My wife drives an '08 4-door Toyota Yaris and I drive an '04 Ford Focus SVT 5-door (w/European package!).

My car is on its last legs so when the Green Line opens I expect to use that for my daily commute to St. Paul, talking advantage of train time to work "remotely." Still, the car is long since paid off and insurnce isn't too bad so we'll probably keep it until it's absolutely dead.

My wife works the evening shift so bus access is limited for her and she's not comfortable biking on the Greenway at night (nor would I be, for the record). Her car is very nearly paid off so I expect she'll use it for quite some time.

Having a small child really complicates things. Walking in wintertime is nearly impossible and taking the bus with a stroller is a huge pain in general. So when we need to take the kid, we almost always drive. Now that he's old enough, we're planning to buy a bike trailer and we hope to use that a lot this summer and fall. But even then, I'm not sure I'm ready to leave the trailer outside while I'm grocery shopping.

alleycat
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby alleycat » March 17th, 2014, 8:04 pm

David Greene wrote: Having a small child really complicates things. Walking in wintertime is nearly impossible and taking the bus with a stroller is a huge pain in general. So when we need to take the kid, we almost always drive.
Depending on their size or for the next one I'd suggest an Ergo. Carry the little one right on your back! We've went snowshoeing with my baby on my back.
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Tcmetro
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Re: Car Ownership

Postby Tcmetro » March 17th, 2014, 9:22 pm

I grew up taking the bus everywhere. It was pretty manageable because our family lived fairly close to downtown, and we were also 10 minutes away from the grocery store via bus. The biggest problem with being car-free was grocery and household shopping. If we ended up purchasing a lot at Cub or Walmart we would take a taxi or get a ride. I think that this is the biggest impediment to families going car-free. It's very difficult to bring shopping bags home via bus, especially if the walk from the bus stop is more than a block or two. Another big problem was basically any business in the suburbs. Taking the bus to the suburbs oftentimes meaning spending long amounts of time riding circuitous routes, transferring, etc.

Now I'm a college student, and I did purchase a car a little over a year ago. Because I now live in the suburbs, work in the suburbs, and go to school in the suburbs, it has been really helpful to own a car. It's much more expensive than taking the bus, but driving allows me to stay out later, not have to walk if I miss the bus, not have to deal with unshoveled sidewalks, and not spend hours riding buses everyday. Personally, I dislike driving (it's really one of the most boring activities ever), but due to where I live and the poor quality of our transit system it's the best option. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, I'll be able to move somewhere where I don't need to drive and can walk or bike or bus.


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