Why would anyone go low car in San Diego?

I recently totaled my SUV. Technically, it wasn’t even mine. It was my parents. Due to strange/lucky timing on my part, my dad had just bought a new Nissan Leaf and so I now have my dad’s old car. I went from driving a gas guzzling SUV to a much more fuel efficient sedan. So then, why would I want to give it up?

I want to go on a low car diet. On a diet, you don’t give up food completely, you just eat less. I don’t want to give up my car completely. I just want to use it less. I’m not going car free. San Diego is a great city. But even after growing up here, I really don’t trust public transportation enough to try a car free existence (I realized a couple of days ago that the only time I can remember ever taking a public bus was in middle school).

What really put me over the edge was a piece on Marketplace about a woman who lives in LA but doesn’t have a car. If I think living in San Diego without a car would be hard, can you imagine doing it in LA? Suddenly, my fear of wasting time on the bus (my usual commute to work takes 15 minutes by car but an hour and 15 minutes by bus) seemed silly. If that woman does it, so can I! She reads on the bus! I can do that!

I can’t deny however that the timing does have something to do with the announcement of 300 fully electric vehicles with 1,500 charging stations around the county. Jumping into low car land is a lot less scary when you know there will soon be glorified golf carts to catch you.


About Tori Altona

Likes: Walking, writing, winter as a vacation destination. Dislikes: Cars, drought, PB.
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3 Responses to Why would anyone go low car in San Diego?

  1. Eric says:

    I took the public bus in middle school. It’s easy to feel like a second-class citizen in SoCal if you use mass transit.

  2. trollaikman8 says:

    I’m a few months away from going smaller….in the form of a Prius.
    I have a 3.3L v6 car that rarely sees 50mph (Damn you Mira Mesa Blvd).

  3. Todd says:

    Trying to get around SD with public transportation is generally a nightmare, but there are some pockets of sanity, e.g. trying to get to/from downtown and the “central” suburbs like University Heights or Hillcrest is okay. Ironically, if you live near a trolley station, you can get fairly quickly to any other part of the line, even as far as from e.g. Fashion Valley to San Ysidro– says something about traffic in SD.

    However, if you live anywhere else, just give up, unless you like three-hour-average commutes with an hour or so of variance. I don’t understand why/how the bus lines even run, and feel sorry for the people who take them (there is a surprising amount of them).

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