Carless in Nashville

Carless in Nashville

We all know that feeling: your car breaks down and suddenly you're completely at the mercy of your mode of transportation. A million questions run through your head. “How much is this going to cost to fix? How will I get to work? I don’t have the money for this!”

Katie H. was in this situation several months ago. She had just finished paying off her car when she got in a minor accident that turned into a costly repair. Despite its appearance, her car was totaled, and though the accident wasn’t her fault, she was left with a choice to make. Should she invest in another car or try out being carless in Nashville?

She decided to go carless. As a Program Coordinator at Walk Bike Nashville, Katie is familiar with the transportation options available in Nashville. Though her commute to the office is relatively short, she's not on one of the main routes for the bus, so she bikes often. On the days there is inclement weather, she has a lot of stuff to bring with her, or she just doesn’t feel like biking, she uses Lyft.

According to Katie, Lyft is a helpful option because Nashville isn't on par yet with cities like Seattle or San Francisco when it comes to transportation options. She also had a quintessential Lyft experience on her first ride. Katie and her Lyft driver had a mutual friend, so when she left her keys in the Lyft on her way to her meeting, their friend reached out to her and connected her to the driver — who ended up driving her back from the meeting so she could get her keys back!

It's been three months since taking the carless plunge in a car-centric city, and Katie says she has no intention of going back. “I spent about $60 a month on Lyft during the first two months. My bus fare was about $7 a month. And of course walking and biking were free! If I still owned a car, I was paying $70 for insurance a month and around $45 a month on gas. None of this includes maintenance. My car payment was also $395 a month. Even without a car payment, I was paying $115 for insurance and gas, versus the $70 I'm spending on Lyft and the bus. I've also kept 100% of the insurance payment for the value of my car. In total with a car payment I was paying around $510 instead of the $70 I pay now. So on average, I'm saving $440 a month. That's a lot of money! I'm going to go buy a new outfit!”

In addition to affordability, Katie really enjoys being without a car. She says she's less stressed and has even noticed a bit of weight loss from all the walking and biking.

Katie acknowledges how lucky she is to be carless just because she wants to. “I know I'm very privileged to be able to make this change as a choice. Many people do not have another option." That's why Katie and her co-workers are focused on pushing Nashville in this direction. “Nashville has a long way to go to be considered bike-friendly, and if that is where we want to be, then the city needs to make that investment,” Katie says. 

Our team at Lyft Nashville is proud to be able to play a role in Katie’s transportation solution. To hear more about Katie's story, check out her blog post here!

For all things Lyft in Music City, follow @lyftnashville on Twitter.

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