One month without a car in Chicago

Like many Chicagoland residents, the traffic in the summer is outrageous. With all the increase in Ubers and Lyfts, I felt like these past few months have been even worse. For example, I was heading to the Western Suburbs this past July and my normal 45-50 minute commute turned into a 2 hour nightmare (I almost ran out of gas, but that’s a whole other story…). Traffic, parking, construction, and so on was driving me crazy.

I also was becoming too reliant on our car. We have so many forms of public transportation within steps of our home, why did I keep driving everywhere? I was spending so much money on parking and gas, but why? When Lyft asked me to join their #ditchwithlyft campaign, it was perfect timing. I knew it was time to ditch our car for the month and take more public transportation.

ditching our car for one month and taking public transportationditching our car for one month and taking public transportation

The Lyft campaign included not driving for one month and use the following forms of transportation:

-Shared Lyft rides (to help reduce traffic)
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)– bus and train
DIVVY Bikes

We had taken the bus and train with Noah a handful of times and he has always loved it, so I knew we were going to use this form on transportation most of the month. The shared Lyft rides would be for myself for doctor appointments, shopping, the gym, etc. I had never rented DIVVY bikes and I thought this would be fun to do with some friends.

To put it in a monetary perspective, this is how much we were spending on our car a month:

Gas- On average, $100 per month
Insurance- $100
Parking- On average, $80 per month
Car Payment- $350

*I work part time and walk to the office and Manny commutes to work. We don’t use the car for work. Just for errands, the gym, doctor appointments, events, etc.

Total: $610 monthly 

This is how much I spent on the forms of transportation for the month:

Shared Lyft: $62
Individual Lyft: $77
CTA Pass: $109
DIVVY Bike: $3 dollars

Total: $251

CTA

We honestly mostly relied on the CTA and took it everywhere. Noah actually requested it and when we would walk by our parked car, he would say “no car, train only”. He really liked it. I found that it was really easy to take the train with the stroller. Almost all the stops except for North and Clybourn, are all stroller accessible.

Same goes with the bus. The bus is also really easy, but when it was crowded, we did have to fold up the stroller a few times, but this wasn’t too big of a deal.

IMG_2304ditching our car for one month and taking public transportationditching our car for one month and taking public transportationIMG_2319IMG_2536IMG_2321ditching our car for one month and taking public transportation

Click here for the Instagram post

Lyft

Before this campaign, I had never taken a shared lyft ride. I don’t know why, but it always intimidated me. But honestly, it was fine! And it’s drastically cheaper than solo rides. Most people are friendly, some even started conversations, which I liked. There were so many times I paid for a shared ride and it was only me, which is great. I had shared it twice with three other people, which is pretty lucky I think. My advice to anyone nervous about taking a shared ride, just do it! Honestly, it’s not that bad and so much cheaper.

ditching our car for one month and taking public transportation

DIVVY

Being very pregnant right now, riding the streets of Chicago isn’t the best (I’m also not the best rider), but we took it along the 606 trail and it was really fun. I did it with my blogger friend and we turned it into a little photo shoot. Those blue bikes are very ‘grammable, haha.

Click here for the Instagram post.

rented DIVVY bikes and took them along the 606 trailIMG_2586

I found that getting groceries was easy in a lyft, I just needed to make sure I was really planned ahead of time. There was no running to the store afterwards. I tried Amazon Fresh for the first time too, which delivered groceries. Overall, it made us spend less money taking little trips to the store, especially Target. We still made two trips that month, except it was only for things we needed. And honestly, there’s only so much you can carry on the bottom of a stroller.

After this month, we seriously considered going car-less. You honestly save a lot of money, but with our girl due in winter, we might have to wait a little to make that move. But it’s not out of the question for us if we stay in the city after she arrives.

I have to say, it really has forced me to think about driving everywhere. I am walking more, taking the train or bus and although it requires more planning, sometimes it’s just easier and cheaper. Plus, Noah loves the ride. 🙂

As always, thanks for following along and you can sign up for weekly emails here and on Instagram.

Until next time,

Christine

This was a sponsored Lyft campaign, but all my opinions expressed are my own. 

 

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