6 Small Steps to living a Car-free Life
1) Draw a two-mile circle around your house
Make it a rule not to drive anywhere inside that circle (about a 40-minute walk). You’ll start to see how many car trips you can replace by walking. Plus you’ll notice how your daily needs can be largely met by local businesses.
2) Start wearing a pedometer
By sweating an hour on the treadmill at the gym, you may rack up a few miles. But by monitoring your steps while walking and taking public transit during the day, you'll quickly realize you can do three or four miles just the same.
3) Stock up
You’ll need to prep for life on foot. In addition to that pedometer and your smart phone, get a reloadable TAP card for riding public transit (you can buy one at most Metro stations and on buses), as well as reading material. Invest in stylish yet sensible shoes, too.
4) Download Metro’s excellent app
Yes, our bus and rail system is massive and intimidating, but you no longer have an excuse not to use it. Metro’s new app can help you plan trips, find the nearest station or stop, and view real-time bus arrivals. You’ll crack it in no time.
5) Have your groceries delivered
Many local community-supported gardens will bring edible goods to your door. Web sites such as yummy.com and vons.com save your purchase history, and since most of us buy the same items every other week, arranging for a routine drop-off is a time-saver. (Delivery charges are $4 to $13.)
6) Join a car-sharing service
Just because you don’t own a car doesn’t mean you can’t drive one. Need to escape to Joshua Tree for the weekend or take a meeting in Orange County? The subscription car-share company Zipcar is better known, but LAX Car Share is locally owned.
Is it worth it?
Paying for someone to park your car sounds decadent, but relative to other cities, we’ve got it pretty good. All-day valet parking at the downtown Standard hotel is $36—that’s $20 to $40 less than the same service at the same hotel in New York and Miami. It’s also less than a parking ticket.