When I was young, I biked virtually everywhere, and lived either in New York city, where I could take public transportation when it was raining, or I was dressed up for some reason, or a taxi when I had a big object, or had to take a dog to the vet. Then, in Indiana, living with my aunt and uncle (my aunt was ill, ad I was helping to care for her), I could use one of their cars from time to time, but otherwise, I used a bicycle.
My husband and I got by just fine on one car for years, until we had a child, and the only reason we have two is that my cousin gave us one. We’ve really needed two in Indianapolis with a child. The public transportation here isn’t conducive to taking children places-- 25 minute transfer waits, and long walks between stops are common. My nine-year-old can do it, but it just doesn’t work with a four-year-old, especially if you have to walk along a street with no sidewalk, or wait at a stop where there’s nowhere to sit.
You can bike and ride, and the buses have bike racks, but there’s a three bike limit, which they hit in the summer a lot; since the buses run just once an hour on some routes, you can get stuck at the bus stop with your bike.
However, Indy just started usingthese. There’s five of them right next to the street where we live. We’re thinking that the next time our 22-year-old car needs a major repair, we’ll just ditch it. It’s actually old enough that there are people who collect them and buy them for parts. About once a month, someone asks me if I’m selling it. So, even if it needs a clutch or an oil pan gasket, I could probably get $1,000 for it: parted out, it’s worth quite a bit more, so whoever buys it will probably remove the parts he wants, then sell the other usable parts online-- which is what I would do if I didn’t live in an apartment.
We have our son riding a tandem bike now, so we hope he’ll be riding a bike on his own soon, and the biggest thing we needed two cars for when he was little-- transporting him to preschool-- isn’t a problem, because he goes to public school and rides the bus doesn’t exist anymore. They also built a Walmart grocery store just about three blocks away, so we can walk to it to go shopping.
It’s snowing right now, and we’re supposed to get a lot, but in another month or so, we may do a trial of one car reliance, with a Blueindy account, and see how it goes.