Seeing as James’ birthday was this Friday, and he had the day off from work, we decided to go on a mini adventure. Since it was a pretty spontaneous decision, we hadn’t planned it out or anything until we decided the night before on a top secret plan that involved breakfast and a hike. Of course, the place I wanted to take him for breakfast and the hike I wanted us to do were both out on the coast–and since we wanted the adventure actually to be in the stuff at the coast, not in getting to the coast, and since we only had the one day, we drove.
That’s right. We drove. Right now, my brother’s van is still parked outside our house, so we just took that, but in other circumstances, we probably would have partaken of yet another thing that makes not having a car in Portland so easy: Zipcar!
If you are fortunate enough to live in a place that has Zipcars (or some other car-sharing program), there will be cars parked all over the city in specially marked places, and you can reserve and use them. That’s simplifying it, but it’s really about that easy. You pay for a membership, $60 per year here, which gives you a card that will unlock a car that you’ve reserved. You can reserve them online, and then you pay either hourly (about $7.25/hr) or by the day ($69/day). And your car includes gas and insurance. That’s right, you don’t have to pay for gas or insurance; it’s all comprised in your membership.
It’s ideal for people like us who might, on occasion, want or need to drive somewhere, but who don’t actually want to have their own car. We use it only very rarely, but I think it’s quite useful for a lot of people who want to be less dependent on cars but who might still have occasional drivey obligations. It’s like not having a car but with a safety net.
You know, for those times you decide at 10pm that you want to go to the coast the next day:)