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#43 carless whisper

i guess you could say i am un-inventing the wheel...


painting the town 'ped'


i have sold my car with wild abandon in the interests of saving the planet - i was trying to practise not using the car, but there always seemed to be a reason to use it, so i just jumped in the deep end and sold it, and now i have to deal!

an interesting side-effect is that i am re-discovering much in my local hood, just by being forced to walk more, so i plan to document it here.

i'll also post helpful hints on alternate local travel, eg. helpful bus routes I'd long since forgotten about.... the palm of your hand....

.....freedom from parking tickets and petrol prices!

i even like looking at the little metroten and remembering where and why i went on each trip....(daggy but true)

school bus

we are having much more interesting conversations on the bus to school, than we ever did while i was driving...we have a game where we have to find at least one funny thing on the bus or out the window on each trip.

becoming familiar with bus travel gears him up to be independent too

disaster strikes!!!!

it happened. i left work with ample time to jump on a bus from taylor square to bondi beach to pick up my son from school. the bus didn't show......i had no option other than to hail a cab, or there would have been one lonely little man waiting for his mum in the playground!

lesson learnt? i have to make the same trip today, so i have checked journey times with the syd buses trip planner site ( first, and i am trying picking up the bus from the city stop (cnr liverpool and elizabeth sts) instead of taylor square, in case the reason was that the bus was too full by the time it reached taylor square and thus wasn't picking up?

any advice on routes/times/stops that people know are especially reliable or not for travel between surry hills and bondi beach would be welcome! 


what to do when it rains?

a good ole fashioned raincoat! funnily enough this was quite a novelty, as we'd never needed to use it when driving;

note that hood allows hair to remain 'spiky' (v. important)

we may even invest in some funky knee-high wellies for when winter gets serious :)

more unexpected bonuses!

using the car, we used to always run late for school and arrive in a frenzy. now, even if we have to rush a bit to make the bus sometimes, we always arrive early and relaxed from the chat and daydream on the bus - and have time for a little morning coffee beforehand! bliss!

no 'thyme'? ...

...just flowers...and this new lifestyle is affording me more 'time' to smell them!

i overheard a conversation recently whereby a former bike-enthusiast said he had become more of a car-user cos he 'just didn't have time to cycle'; my bf then asked me if i felt i was short of time now that i was relying on public transport and my own two feet and i had to honestly answer 'no - i have MORE time!'

selling the car forced me to re-think the scheduling of my week, i now try to schedule things in clusters based on their locale, and, yes, i tend now to simply schedule less in a day (or less locations, anyway) - but the payoff is the time: the 'space' between engagements. i feel less stressed, i debrief from one thing and prepare mentally for the next whilst travelling.

this luxury of 'mental space' is something i'd been yearning for, for ages and is yet another unexpected bonus of selling that car! do it!


....not as a statement of your will-power or goodwill or anything noble....but cos IT SUCKS.

got a lift on school run two mornings this week as there was a gale a'blowing and deludes of water and my little man was sick...but...(and not meaning to sound like an ingrate) it was awful. lift-giver ran late to pick us up as traffic was bad, so was in bad mood. little man in bad mood cos didn't want to be late for school. no morning coffee. no friendly chat on bus. just rush, rush, rush. lift-giver swearing at traffic ...oh, awful, awful world of the car.

we have raincoats, wellies, umbrellas and a metroten, so: No. More. Lifts.

It's 'just like riding a bike'!

Despite my (regular cyclist) boyfriend's protestations that i should just get out on the road and go for it, Idecided I needed a gentler gradient on my path to becoming a cyclist. I had a free hour on the weekend, so I went to Centennial Park and hired a bike! And cycled around the park - 3 times! It was so great. It's definitely a work-out for the legs, but it was a lovely feeling.

So...I found out that I do indeed still know how to cycle. And...the SECOND two of three attempts at dismounting were even quite graceful ;)

Now I just need some forays into real traffic...stay tuned.


The Great Unwashed

I know public transport isn't the only alternative to driving, but it's what we use most at the moment.

It is certainly affording some great learning experiences for my little carbon cop and I; he is fascinated by the notion that the seats at the front are meant to be given up for elderly/ pregnant ladies/ people who need more room etc... It's been great to see him transition from scowling at people for not offering their seats, but being unwilling to do it himself, to - finally - happily squeezing on to my knee the other day to allow a senior lady to sit with us.

A real parenting result in the character stakes!

Certainly a far cry from the lack of courtesy usually evident when driving a car around these parts.

It must be said, though, for the sake of transparency that now that Summer is showing herself the Bondi bus run has become a lot less fun and a lot more sweaty, crowded, loud, slow and inconsistent. I am having to allow a good extra 20 min each side of the journey to not run late. And I dread those moments waiting in the city where seemingly three of every other bus other than the Bondi one turns up, and you watch the crowd of people who you know are waiting for the same bus as you gather, and you know it will arrive packed, and late and possibly not have room for you arrgghh!

Another good opportunity to practise kindness to all...I guess! ;)

But still, this whisper remains car-less!

Comments (4)

Picture of user Jaza

I haven't had a car for about a year now, and I also find that once you get used to it, it is indeed both easy and liberating. Being close to public transport (buses and trains for me), and having a bicycle, certainly helps a lot.

I find that the biggest challenge is shopping. You have to get used to shopping the old-fashioned way: i.e. only buy what you can carry home. My favourite technique is to cycle to the shops, and then to ride home with a backpack full of groceries, and with a shopping bag slug over each handlebar (be sure to balance the weight evenly if you do this). Online shopping / home delivery is also an option, but I haven't tried it yet.

Picture of user vaike neeme

good on you jeremy! and thanks for the tips. yes i have just been buying as i need mostly. am looking fwd to getting a bike in near future and experimenting with that!

Picture of user DaveGravina

While i applaud the carless whispering Vaike i find the backup of having a Goget Car Share membership means the carless experience is much more manageable (and of course a pushbike which is my main form of transport).

Occasionally when im moving something heavy or just need to do 20 things in one day all over town i'll grab a Go Get for maybe $20 for 4 hours (plus 50c a km roughly) and i'm sorted. Given a car you own might cost you between $20- $30 a day just sitting there i your garage this works out way cheaper and more convenient.

This might make it easier for some people to take the step.

Picture of user vaike neeme

yes indeedy, i have joined GoGet too and find it uber-easy to use - thanks Dave!

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