Saturday, August 12, 2006

Trading four wheels for two

"It's amazing that one of the most expensive consumer items, everyone automatically assumes they must have," he said.

He walks to work, just half a block away. He catches rides with friends when they're headed to the same place. Groceries, he gets delivered by online retailer Plumgood Food.

O'Connell, 29, lives just off West End, which means he has easy access by bike or bus to many places. Bike racks on the buses expand his range as a cyclist, too. It's going out of town or taking day trips that requires much more planning.

He knows of another alternative some cities are trying: car-sharing. It allows people to reserve what amounts to a communal car for short periods of time, from an hour to a day.

"It's an easy way to supplement not having to own a car and save thousands of dollars a year," he said. "There are lots of opportunities and ideas out there that I think are easily representative of freedom and choice that don't have anything to do with car ownership."

The Tennesean

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