— transit

I have never owned a car. I got my driver's license in 1989 just to have one for emergencies, and have driven exactly once since then. The reasons I don't drive are, in order:

  1. I absolutely hate driving, both the physical act of manipulating a car and dealing with traffic.
  2. I don't want to pay for gas, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc.
  3. I don't like the impact that cars and America's car-centric culture have on the environment.

I don't even particularly like riding in cars, especially in heavy traffic or going at high speeds. I am generally speed-averse, much preferring slower methods of getting around, like walking.

I get around primarily by walking and public transit. I have always arranged my life in such a way that I can get to work, errands, and play either by transit or on foot. This does not feel limiting to me, as I would not want a job that required a long daily commute, and I prefer walking around my neighborhood to having to drive to get to whatever I need to do.

I consider public transit options in San Francisco to be pretty good, despite what people from New York City and similar areas might think. Visiting me is much easier by public transit as parking is nearly nonexistent in my neighborhood (Nob Hill/Chinatown), and we don't even have a space in our own garage as that would cost us an additional $200/month. Fortunately, we are right on the cable car line and near several bus stops. Our area is hilly which can be a challenge for people not used to walking, but personally I like using my legs. I fear that walking is rapidly becoming a lost art.

My husband Ziggy is not as averse to cars as I am, so he is a member of City CarShare and Zipcar. These shared-car systems are very convenient for errands involving moving heavy objects, large amounts of groceries, etc.

With Ziggy and City CarShare after wedding, September 25, 2004. Photo by Mike Galanter.

With Ziggy and City CarShare after wedding, September 25, 2004.
Photo by Mike Galanter. home

Last modified April 5, 2009