Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week without driving, day 5

Day 5 was easy again; didn't have to go anywhere. I was working on a slightly annoying bit of code all day, so that took up most of my time. I did get some thinking time in about options for people around here who don't have cars. I know in many big cities now they have Zipcars; its a great idea for people that only need to use cars occasionally. The big drawback in a place like Merrill - at least as it is now - is that many people work outside of the city and need to have their cars all day. There still isn't public transportation between the communities around here; even tho you can get almost anywhere in Merrill between the Merrill-go-round and the taxi, getting to Wausau is trickier.

Is there a way a car co-op could work? Let's say a family decided to split a car with another family. Each would pay for half of the car - maintenance, insurance, etc. The tricky part would be the actual sharing of the car; if there was one partner that was stay-at-home in one family and could give a ride to someone in the other family that worked in Wausau... but the problem of scheduling would be extremely tricky.

Ideally this area could have improved public transportation options - even just bus lines that ran four or five times a day between places like Tomahawk, Rheinlander, Merrill, Wausau, Stevens Point, Marshfield... and then something like a small, small Zipcar lot, with three or four cars (just speaking about Merrill here; other communities could use bigger ones) - would go a long way towards helping out those who don't have transportation, and maybe even cut down on how many people feel like they need to own cars at all. I'm not saying this would be easy, but it would be awesome.

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