Carless in the City

Companies big and small often engage in a CBA, or Cost Benefit Analysis, before making a major decision.  Basically, they look at the price of a move (financial or otherwise) to determine if the gains will generate something more positive in return.  A formula of sorts to answer the question, “Is it really worth it?”

Living in New York City, I’ve made a CBA of my own.  I’m going to call it the Car Benefit Analysis. Am I better off not driving, not owning a car, and depending on other sources for transportation?

The simple answer is a resounding YES.  I’m thriving on the fact I’m now car free.  Driving is stressful and requires your complete attention.  Now that I’ve given the keys to someone else, I can catch up on news, finish emails and texts, and, if there’s enough bandwidth, I can even watch a video.   I’m no longer paying for gas, insurance, and oil checks. Of course, especially in New York, any money saved has gone elsewhere.

Taking the subway and the occasional taxi or ride-share, has forced me to be more efficient.  No longer can I purchase six to ten bags of groceries. My limit is four and hopefully I’m equipped with my backpack.  Gone are the days of Costco and Target runs. I’m lucky if I have a spare roll of paper towel at home.

While there are some gripes, like slush in the streets, capacity-filled subway cars and the occasional delays, my CBA is positive. One day that may change but for now, I’m enjoying being a small participant in mass transit.