Why I Don’t Drive and My Perspective on Travel
At the time of writing this story, I am 31 years old. I do not have a US driver’s license. I never will get one.
The only way I ever plan on driving a car is if I can get a self-driving car without a license.
The fact that I refuse to drive has confused many people. I think at this point, my family just gave up trying to convince me and has moved on.
Why do I refuse to drive, and how do I get around if I don’t drive? I am going to answer both of these questions in this story
I Hate Cars
I don’t like cars at all. Cars are scary and move way too fast, and I also don’t like how most people drive either.
When I was learning to drive, I felt unsafe. I did not like how it felt to drive at all. I am scared to do anything related to driving.
This fear is called Amaxophobia. I had to Google it to find out. But of course, there is a term for it.
My autism may have been a part of this. I am not sure. I have never tried to drive since high school.
I Have Found My People!
Forgive me for a bit of offensive language, but I recently discovered the Reddit subreddit /r/fuckcars.
Where has this place been my whole life! I feel just as sarcastic, cynical, and angry as most of the posts here.
I don’t go out of my way to tell everybody I know I hate cars. But it is fun to find a group of like-minded people.
Reddit is good for that.
I Walk to a Lot of Places
It is weird to me how short of a distance people are willing to walk anywhere. I have seen people claim anything over 15 minutes is too long.
Now I understand some people may have limitations that prevent that from walking too far. But I am sure this doesn’t apply to everybody.
I won’t lie and pretend I walk everywhere. But if something is less than five miles away, I will consider it. I don’t mind taking hours to get somewhere if I have the time.
I go at my pace, and I often walk while playing on my phone or listing to music.
I won’t walk somewhere if I need to carry too much. But I have other options for that.
My main issues with walking places are things being too far away and still having to deal with traffic. I hate having to cross busy streets.
My Thoughts on Biking
I have decided, for now, that I am going to give up bike riding.
I loved riding my bike. But I can’t bike to work because my job is too far away to bike that distance often. Also, my apartment has a rule where you have to leave your bike locked up downstairs.
I might pick up two wheels in the future, but for now, I will not be biking anywhere.
I Am Thinking of Getting a Scooter
An electric scooter has some of the same issues as a bike. I am talking about an electric push scooter. So not the big ones that look like mopeds.
You are supposed to ride scooters in the street as well. But whatever.
I like to see a police officer chase me down for riding a scooter on the sidewalk. As long I am not trying to run people over, nobody will care.
People often bike like they have a death wish. These crazy bikers stop for nothing. Red lights, traffic, people. Nope, you must go forward!
I can’t bike like that, and I suppose I am overly cautious. But you won’t see me accidentally running somebody over either.
I will stop and walk around slower moving people.
Scooters are small enough that I can carry them around with me everywhere. I can bus with a foldable scooter. I could even ride the bus to work and lock it up when I get there.
A scooter can go quite fast as well.
A scooter is not as fast as an ebike. But almost anywhere I plan on going to most days is within five miles.
I plan on buying a scooter with bigger wheels and a bigger deck. I don’t want to wipe out because I ran over the wrong thing.
At this time of writing this story, I don’t have a scouter yet. But I am thinking of getting one this year.
My Thoughts on Riding the Bus
Right now, riding the bus is the most effective way for me to get around. A bus pass costs me about $70 (USD) a month.
With this pass, I can go anywhere a city bus can. I live in Milwaukee, and their bus system is better than I thought it would be.
Trying to figure out the right bus to take and when to stop sometimes feels like a puzzle. But thankfully, Google Maps and the bus app has been very helpful.
But sometimes the buses give me some kind of motion sickness because they bounce around too much.
Also, you have to ride on their schedule or else you will be stuck waiting for the next bus.
I ride the city bus to my job. Thanks to the city bus, I get to my job on time. Well, except for the time the bus broke down.
The bus that takes me there only shows up before shift times. So if I miss it, I am in trouble.
I also have to wait outside. During the colder months this is not fun.
Overall I like the bus system.
Sometimes riding the bus takes a long time. But riding the bus is still much faster than trying to walk somewhere long distance. So I am happy I have the option.
Other Travel Methods
Sometimes family helps me get somewhere.
I also will use rideshare services like Uber and Lyft to get to places I can’t get to by bus when needed.
But I don’t like paying for these services often. So I only rideshare when necessary.