My wife and I have been car free now for five years. One of the great things about being car free is I never have to worry about the price of gas. Using a combination of my own steam either on foot or bike I have spontaneous access to close destinations and the entire downtown including all of the necessary banking, shopping, services, groceries, liquor stores and restaurants.
Occasionally for farther away destinations, days with poor weather or the need for speed I will use transit. Even then I know exactly how much my commute will cost, I know that going from my home to downtown will cost me no more than $2.75.
A few key things have allowed transit to support my mobility freedom, the first is my smart phone and Google Maps, which eliminates the previously tedious task of figuring out which bus will get me from point A to B and when. Frequency (or the number of times a bus for a route will stop at a particular bus stop) is also necessary as it provides me the opportunity to use transit free spontaneously, free from a schedule. Social media such as twitter has also really opened up avenues to instantly communicate with TransLink about issues or seek clarifications.
Finally with real time bus location information via the TransLink Next Bus app provides me with peace of mind that my bus is on its way. If in the rare case that it isn’t then I am empowered with reliable information to seek alternatives.
You can never really be sure what you will run up against while driving, there may new construction, a concert or something else that snarls up traffic for blocks. On the other hand I have never seen a walking or cycling jam, have you? Ditching the car has given me freedom, it has given me peace of mind. I am no longer anxiously shackled to the volatile day to day price of a litre of regular gasoline, or the hair-pulling and mind numbing pain sitting in traffic looking at the rear lights of cars.
Of course what helps ensure that this is all possible is a very efficient and world class transit network, in addition to a network of traffic separated cycling lanes through out Vancouver.