Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time to Get Smart Out Of Gas Guzzling Vehicles

Oil prices are on the rise due to Middle East unrest and gas prices are going up up and up!  While many such as myself took action long ago to get out of the kind of geographic areas that demand long distance driving such as Los Angeles, many still haven't even begun to address the issue.

Yesterday I had a loan signing requiring I drive a Zip Car hourly rental a few miles across the city that seemed like an eternity.  Zip Car prices are very affordable for errands and hourly use trips.  The advantages of using a Zip Car is you don't pay for gas or insurance.  The average hourly rental is only $10.75.

If I owned a gas vehicle the growing signs of unstable oil prices would cause me to obtain an electric car or at least a hybrid if I could afford it.  I would also consider moving to a walk and bike friendly city.  A good site to check out is www.WalkScore.com for information on city walk ability, especially the Living in a Walker's Paradise Top 138 Cities list.  I can't imagine how people could afford these $4-5.00/gallon gas prices these days, it's just throwing money away.  Here's some stats on the effects of city walk ability from www.WalkScore.com:
Walkable neighborhoods offer surprising benefits to the environment, our health, our finances, and our communities.

Environment: Cars are a leading cause of climate change. Your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.

Health: The average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 7 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood.

Finances: One point of Walk Score is worth up to $3,000 of value for your property. Read the research report.

Communities: Studies show that for every 10 minutes a person spends in a daily car commute, time spent in community activities falls by 10%. - Walkable Neighborhoods - www.WalkScore.com
If I had a real need for a car, I would get a Smart Car by BMW.  They're cute little well made electric cars.  At this point it makes no sense for me to own an electric car.  In the interim, I'm hoping Zip Cars will get hip and start purchasing Smart Cars to keep their hourly rates down. The problem of course is where to charge up the cars.  For now, whenever I need a car I can book a Zipper within one hour and there are always cars available nearby.  I pay a $50 yearly fee, it's as simple as that.

For the more daring, they could try the new technology offered with the jet pack and simply fly to work that may save a few gallons of gas:


Demo of a Jetpack Flying Machine by Martin

I hope people can find solutions to this growing gas price crisis to get out of their gas guzzling vehicles.  I got out of my RX-7 Mazda  way back in 1986 having transitioned over to fun motor scooters and  then moved to San Francisco where everything I need is nearby. 

Smart Car
Zip Car
WalkScore.com