Friday, July 18, 2008

Hello EZ Pass, Goodbye Loretta?

Loretta, my car, is sitting in a parking lot, collecting more dust than ever. I've made up my mind to get rid of her. I bought an EZ Pass for July and though I know that I technically may not ride a full 70 dollars' worth each month, the convenience of not having to worry about whether I have enough change or small bills for fare makes up for it, along with not having to worry about how much it costs to travel in Long Beach or Santa Monica (or any other part of LA County). With an EZ Pass, my bicycle, and my legs, I can get around fairly well.

Even knowing that, it's difficult to think about parting with the car now that the time has come, after weeks of declaring with fervor that I wanted to do it. When I told a friend about this, he suggested that I purchase leisure insurance so that I would still be able to use the car when I might really need it, and the idea was more enticing than it should have been. It's hard to abandon the convenience of having a vehicle, though oftentimes it doesn't feel convenient at all. A paradox.

I won't sugarcoat anything: it can be incredibly frustrating using public transit to get around, and yes, Metro and Metrolink can be unreliable (especially on weekends and holidays), but my feeling about it is that they won't get any better or more accommodating if ridership doesn't increase. I know that I'd much rather deal with Metro's Trip Planner than with traffic or parking, and I generally only have to figure out how to get to a place once; after I familiarize myself with the route, things get easier. The two things that makes me want to keep the car is the matter of transporting various heavy things around, and going places at night after public transit shuts down. Getting leisure insurance seems better than subscribing to ZipCar, which has questionable service in Downtown anyway.

It's hard to part with the car-dependent mindset, but I guess I just have to bite the bullet and really say goodbye to Loretta. My parents think that I'll never see them if I don't have a car, or that it's a sign of being poor. I'll just have to convince them otherwise.


  1. great Narinda
    this will inspire and motivate others to take the same leap you are choosing to do.
    I have been with out wheels since about 2005, at first it was not by choice, but because i am visually limited.
    I still miss the "immediate gratification" and "getting there in 20 minutes" but like anything u somewhat get used to it, accept it and embrace it.
    And try to plan ahead more.
    You relax and also remember the financial savings and environmental contribution you are making.

  2. Thanks. Now I just have to go through the process of cleaning out my car and donating it.

    I miss the instant gratification, too, until I think about trying to find parking. :n)