Living Car-Lite in Paris
This morning I came across this article on NPR. According to it, Paris is launching an electric car share program in September 2011. Inspired by their popular bike share program, the car share would function much the same way; you could pick up and drop off an electric car at any of the many pick-up and drop-off points across the city, using the car for any errands you may have and then returning it to the city’s holding.
Although the article notes the misgivings that some are expressing in regard to how well this will work, I think the idea is fabulous. Or, if nothing else, realistic. While I admire those who preach car-free living and are actually able to implement that 100% of the time, I know life will get in the way of me never setting foot in another auto vehicle ever again. Sometimes – like when you’re moving, transporting furniture, transporting injured people or pets, needing to travel a distance not accessible by public transport – you just need a car.
For the three years I lived in Germany and Austria as a driver’s license holding adult, I did not have a car. And I didn’t miss having a car, I got around perfectly well by bus, metro, taxi or subway when necessary and on foot or bike for the majority of the time. I have been very happy when I have made my life a car-lite one. But I have never managed to forgo the use of a four-wheeled contraption entirely, and I imagine that will only continue to be the case as I add children to my family. Still, I’m not one to bask in the joy of a newly purchased car or to love nothing more than the fortune of finding a great parking spot.
That’s why I think this car share idea is fabulous. It would allow many people like myself to live car-lite while still having the option of easily and conveniently picking up a rental whenever necessary. I imagine that it would be more cost-efficient than a cab and more accessible than going to an actual rental company in the city. Similarly, Paris officials are hoping that this will allow more people to get rid of their permanent car and to rely on this program for their car needs instead.
What do you think? Do you aim to live car-lite or even car-free and how has that influenced you other lifestyle choices, like your living location or travel plans? And would you welcome such a car share program in your city?