Living Car Free in Australia

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Re: Living Car Free in Australia

Postby simonn » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:28 pm

RonK wrote:
simonn wrote:
RonK wrote:It's pointless comparing a heavily populated postage stamp sized country with an entire large, sparsely populated continent.

It's not just the culture - the Australian economy depends on the motor car and that is unlikely to change.

A demographic shift may see some marginal decline in car use, but they are here to stay.


Australia has, however, one of the most urbanized populations in the world. Australian capital cities are reasonably densely populated, but do not have the public transport that cities with similar densities would have Europe.

A bullet train from Coonabarabran to Birdsville is not expected, but that does not excuse the lack of public transport within, or maybe between, the capital cities.

The OP is about living without a car. Even those living in urban area will want to travel further afield at some time. While some destinations will have transport options, many have none, so total car independence is unrealistic.


Point taken, but it depends on how often. Even, for example, a weekend to further a field once a month, hiring a car would probably work out significantly cheaper than owning one, although hiring does mean less spontaneity and, perhaps, convenience.
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by BNA » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 pm

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Re: Living Car Free in Australia

Postby queequeg » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:44 pm

Joeblake wrote:I suppose one could be grateful to be not living in Japan.

http://www.alientimes.org/Main/BuyingAndSellingACar



I lived in Tokyo for 4 years as a teenager. We had to go through that to get a car, which was almost exclusively used by my dad when he had to travel to his office outside of Tokyo. If he was working at the city office he would catch the train.

One time my dad had a brilliant idea...."let's go for a drive to Mt Fuji". It was an eventful day in the countryside. Pouring rain, low cloud, restaurants with no menus in English (much hilarity when my sister ordered what she thought were chicken nuggets but were in fact oyster nuggets!), but the highlight of the day was arriving at the back of a 100km long traffic jam! 6 hours we spent stuck on a freeway. We even got out and walked to the next rest stop and feasted on vending machine microwave hamburgers and steaming cup noodles.

After that horrid experience I refused anymore day trips in the car. Strictly trains, walking and bicycles!

You are truly mad if you drive a car in Tokyo. The train system is so good in Tokyo that nowhere is too far to reach, and you don't need a timetable to plan your trip just in case you miss a connecting service and end up waiting an hour for another train. During peak hour on some lines you can catch a train about 30 seconds after the previous one has left!

Now, back in Sydney I am putting km on the bike faster than the car. The car had an 18 month head start on me, but we're now only 8,000km apart. I ride about 12,000km a year so I should catch up later this year.
I can't do without the car though. We'd be stuck in suburbgatory without it. You can't even easily walk out of our area due to there being no footpath. Even pedestrians are neglected by councils. The local park only has a road entrance without a footpath. No access for parents with prams due to there only being a staircase, with the only other access to the park requiring you to walk an extra 400m and cross the road four times!
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Re: Living Car Free in Australia

Postby RonK » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:03 pm

simonn wrote:Point taken, but it depends on how often. Even, for example, a weekend to further a field once a month, hiring a car would probably work out significantly cheaper than owning one, although hiring does mean less spontaneity and, perhaps, convenience.

Yes, absolutely, it would be much cheaper for me to rent than to own my car, which, as I've already posted, has covered less than 10,000kms in almost 3 years. But I'm simply not prepared to forgo the convenience.
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