One of my dreams is to some day not own a car. I can name many benefits, such as healthy walks, less polluting, no car insurance, and not having to buy the car in the first place. So I was eager to see Carless in Chicago: Live and Thrive in Chicago without Owning a Car by Jason Rothstein. Could the author offer a practical plan?
Rothstein, who has been living without owning a car for over five years, starts by making a case similar to my thoughts above. In the first chapter, he adds up all the direct and indirect expenses of owning a car and also suggests wonderful things you could do with the money otherwise. In chapter 2, he discusses health benefits of walking and the dangers of driving. In the remaining seven chapters, he puts forth his well-tested plan. He explains the Chicago transit systems, taxis, bike riding in the city, and how to rent a car when you need one. Importantly, he belongs to car sharing coop, so he has a great variety of vehicles should he need one, which he rarely does.
While Rothstein's aim is winning converts, his book can actually help drivers, too, as he explains the street system of Chicago and reviews print and online maps. Tourists and committed drivers might also use his guide to help them plan their occasional use of trains into and around the city. You can find Carless in Chicago at our library with the travel books.
Rothstein, Jason. Carless in Chicago: Live and Thrive in Chicago without Owning a Car. Lake Claremont Press, 2010. ISBN 9781893121485.