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Old 30th April 2011, 10:59   #16
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Has anyone thought of owning a rickshaw to beat traffic issues?
I for one have thought of the same. But then bus + cycle + scooty combination is so very convenient (I stay in Pune).
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Old 30th April 2011, 11:09   #17
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
I was trying to search and find out about whether or not it is legal to park a car in a residential area. Every house owner puts a "NO PARKING" sign in front of their gate, and even if they don't, they come for a fight saying "Dont park in front of my house.". Whether it is legal or not is secondary in India, actually. What will they do to the car if you still park there? That is the question.

Ok, now we havent put a No Parking board in front of the gate but yes we do sometimes argue with people not to park in front of the house. But before I go further, I must say that i tell this only to people who know that we park our cars here, if there are any guests who parked their cars in front of our house, thats ok, they dont know it and since parking is a problem, I understand that a new person may find it difficult to locate another place.

However, I also agree that we are a joint family of 8, 7 of whom can drive and then we have 6 cars. Although, 800 and santro finds its place where ever it can, the other four cars civic, cedia, polo and swift, are priority to park in front of the house. There is a big park in front of the house hence, two cars get parked in front of the house and two by the boundary of the park. So, you can say that not only do we allow people to park in front of our house, but also dont allow them to park next to the park's boundary in front of our house. Call us stupid, or whatever, but its really tuff to find a parking space at night when you come in late. Also, other people from further down the road come and park next to park's boundary and too find it difficult to find parking.

But in all this, I would also blame our system to some extent. First see this picture of the park in front of the house.

Should a few of us stop owning cars?!-photo0012.jpg

The was a just a piece of land till about 9 years back (we're living here for over 21 years) with cows gazing, trucks being parked, wedding ground etc. Its was 9 years back when a few of us neighbours came together and made this park what it is today, with time, money and effort all gone into it and we also left a part of the park (15%) for parking (see parking area in picture). The gound was last year handed over to horticulture and a babu came and instructed to cover complete land and make a boundry wall to it. We tried till last extent that the parking space should be left as it is but it was of no use. This space easily accomodated more than 15 cars .

So, I dont know if its right or wrong but we have to as people not to park outside our house. Solution to this problem can be multi story car parks, but the officials are busy minting money from other bigger things.

Better option buy a flat in Gurgaon along with sufficient parking (2-3) and move from where you live .

Also, dont allow cars over 10 year old inside metros.

OT: the worst area in terms of parking is old rajinder nagar, the worse thing you can do to your car is get into the inner lanes of the area.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 30th April 2011 at 11:19.
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Old 30th April 2011, 11:48   #18
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Excellent thread. Its a greater message that should be circulated. The problem lies in the public transport system. If the public transport is improved to a large extent people will refrain from using personal transport. I know of an uncle who has ditched his car, got a Rs. 1400 AC bus pass for a month, to commute to work and back. He is saving the cost of fuel, parking charges and salary to the driver. Parking space is now seen as more than mere a space it has become a possession. I have seen a person blow up his pressure, as somebody parked in his place. He had paid Rs. 5 lakhs to own it.
I work in Nariman point, which is an excellent example, bring your car only if you own the space or can afford the parking. The area has excellent connectivity with buses to a nodal point and share a cabs to the station. During any given time of the day there are absolutely no traffic snarls. People in jackets hop in and hop out of cabs, and buses at times. I feel its a model that should be applied to most business districts.
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Old 30th April 2011, 11:49   #19
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

As with other developed cities of developed countries the future of our cities is also going to be sustainable & efficient public transport system.
There may be congestion charges levied of people who would want to take their cars in the heart of the cities. your personal cars would be for that weekend trip to the countryside or weekly shopping.
Till that time we can only fight for those inches and centimeters of the remaining parking space and curse the person in front who has wrongly parked his car.
cheers!!
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Old 30th April 2011, 12:33   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dot View Post
Very relevant debate.
One key reason, as folks have already pointed out, that non-ownership of cars in cities NYC or S'pore works is due their efficient public transportation system. However that is also not 100% fail proof. Let me explain.
.....................
Spare a thought to the person who cannot afford a car. No one wants to discuss this any further, but everyone understands. Are there any options?
When I got married, my wife wanted to buy a car to go around in the city. I successfully evaded it for several months thanks to the generally good availability of Meru/Easycab taxis. then came the Hyderabad rains and suddenly on three occasions - no taxis available. Still autorickshaw was a good enough compliment on almost all occasions.

She asked me to buy a two-wheeler, but that I refused strongly. I have had two accidents in the past, each time lucky to survive.

When my baby arrived AND Meru went on a strike here, that is when I just couldn't say no anymore, though I did propose to buy a car and run it as a taxi - since we would own it we could guarantee a high availability and the asset would not be underutilised. She of course kicked me out and wouldn't let me back in the house till I apologised .

And all this while it had nothing to do with affordability - but more than environment owning cars (unless you treat them as your pet toy) is close to a waste of money for most of us. At 1000km a month, using Easycabs/Meru costs you about 1.8L a year - no parking fees, no fuel, no insurance, no headaches for a chauffeured (imagine yourself in a traffic jam) very comfortable vehicle. For similar running the fuel expenses for a petrol car are slightly south of 50k - include maintenance, parking, insurance ... + the biggest expense (depreciation on your car - for a 5L worth of car OTR that is 1L/year on a linear basis) and the expenses are at best similar to using Meru. Once you add to this the risk of losing the car in accident, theft etc. it becomes more expensive in the long run. And of course you chauffeur your own car (in Hyderabad that by itself would cost you more than 1L/year today for 8hours/day 6days/week driver).

If the availability of Meru/Easycabs could be made better I perhaps would never have bought anything. I was surviving all these years using public transport (buses and auto-rickshaws - and keeping the latter relatively safe by forcing the drivers the drive sanely) and never saw a problem - even when the rick guys fleece you it is cheaper (and less of a hassle) than your own car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
Ok, now we havent put a No Parking board in front of the gate but yes we do sometimes argue with people not to park in front of the house.
..........
Also, dont allow cars over 10 year old inside metros.
OT: the worst area in terms of parking is old rajinder nagar, the worse thing you can do to your car is get into the inner lanes of the area.

Hey Gaurav

you'll probably not like me saying this - this a mess of your (inlcuding neighbors) own making.

None of the houses in the picture seem to have any space left for parking inside even though all of these seem to be owner-built houses.

Open lands (not developing it is the city's mistake, now that they have rectified that mistake I wouldn't blame them) are jointly owned not just by the owners of the houses adjoining those lands but also by people from other places converting it into a private parking is a cheap solution for you but is akin to a land grab. Now you can argue that land grabs of more nefarious varieties happen all over the place - but that wouldn't change your situation or actions.

Your comments on the need for multistory car parks are spot on. In fact in the new regulations for buildings in several cities minimum car parking requirements have been codified (though they are flaunted by the builders to some extent)

Note from Team-Bhp Support: Kindly avoid quoting long posts in their entirety. If responding to several points raised in a post, quote them individually/separately; it makes for a much smoother read. Thanks.

Last edited by Amartya : 1st May 2011 at 21:52. Reason: Merged the back-to-back posts. Thanks. Also left a message inline, take a look. Let me know if it's not clear.
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Old 30th April 2011, 15:14   #21
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Great thread

I think people can buy as many cars as they want as long as they have a space to park it near/in their house. The fact that you have your own car, which you can use whenever and however, is a source of great comfort!

Once that condition is satisfied comes the question of how you use the car. Do you use it like the Americans? Or do you use it only when it is absolutely necessary?
Personally, I would use it to go out with family and commute using bus/bike.

And it appears a lot of Bangaloreans have the same idea!

A large proportion of people are employed by the IT industry, and car affordability among these people is very high. Consequently, most of the people who can afford a car have bought one. Me included.
Then you realise that commuting in a car every day is a pain. So you use the bus (or maybe your bike). Reducing congestion Monday-Friday. Come Saturday, however, you want to go out with your family and will therefore use the car. Anyone notice that traffic jams are worse on a Saturday evening than on a week day evening?
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Old 30th April 2011, 16:42   #22
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

I guess there was a thread similar to this earlier.
Anyway here is my 2cents.

If your office is below 15kms then the best option would be take a bike to your office and then use car for the weekend.
But if the office is more than 15km then dont think one has an option take car to office.

But at the end. Car is a invaluable asset to the household especially if a house has got used to it. Your usage frequency can vary but it is required.

Note all the above points are applicable only if one can comfortably afford a car. If one cannot then its better to live the you one has been living all this while. Because remember car is addictive
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Old 30th April 2011, 16:55   #23
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

I own a bike. I also own a car.

My bike is an 03 RE, bought new and still feels great.
My car is a Wagon R, 2004 model bought second hand in 06. She does ok.

I would love a bigger car but when I look at my usage.
75% I drive alone.
20% My wife and kid are along with me.
5% of the time I actually have 4 adults apart from me.

It does not make sense to upgrade the car.

So I have decided that my next set of wheels will be a nice cycle. Let the weather cool down a little and I will gift myself a cycle sometime in June.
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Old 30th April 2011, 17:04   #24
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
I own a bike. I also own a car.

My bike is an 03 RE, bought new and still feels great.
My car is a Wagon R, 2004 model bought second hand in 06. She does ok.

I would love a bigger car but when I look at my usage.
75% I drive alone.
20% My wife and kid are along with me.
5% of the time I actually have 4 adults apart from me.

It does not make sense to upgrade the car.

So I have decided that my next set of wheels will be a nice cycle. Let the weather cool down a little and I will gift myself a cycle sometime in June.
Get a cycle. There is a great deal of fun to be had with 1hp, and it makes sound financial and ecological sense.
I am thinking on the same lines [Bianchi or Cannondale] but the only worrying bit is that cycles are super easy to steal or mess with and you have to be that extra bit careful.
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Old 30th April 2011, 18:13   #25
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
you'll probably not like me saying this - this a mess of your (inlcuding neighbors) own making.

None of the houses in the picture seem to have any space left for parking inside even though all of these seem to be owner-built houses.
I'd agree with you to an extent but not completely. This isnt a new society, most of the houses are 15-20 year old and were at a time owned mostly by single families. Now, many have got floor system and 3 + families living in one house. Also, the time these houses were built, scooters used to have waiting of 3-5 years, forget about owing a car. So most houses had parking of 1, at max 2 cars and that too considering size of 800. The way things have changed in last 15-20 years is incredible, with each person owing his/her own car. Now you cant expect people to demolish the house completely and build again. The new houses being built have the provision for parking at ground floor and then 4 more floors on top of it.

This is a problem because of lack of planning by the government, and the civilians like us too who didnt bother to think about it. So I agree that if I do the same mistake while building a new house, I am to be blamed, but you cant blame people (previous generations) who spent most of the time with a scooter or at max 1 car for the family. Please note, the way India went on from 1947 till 1995-2000 was very different from How it has come from 1995-2000 till today.

Further, we havent make illegal possesion over a land and neither have we built any covered parking on the spot, just that we prefer parking our car in front of our house.

Add to that, most colonies in Delhi have similar parking problems. Its sheer lack of planning from the government's side.

OT: if you knew I wont like what you will be saying, you could have used some lighter words. Anyways, its a free country.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 30th April 2011 at 18:23.
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Old 30th April 2011, 18:24   #26
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Well - my car is now driven barely 500 km/month (4-5 days of office commute and the rest on weekends) vs 2500 km/month (daily commute). This is thanks to the metro and ac bus services - sure the commute takes 1:20 instead 1:10 it would by car, but it saves money and also allows me to sleep (or occasionally catch up on emailing) on the commute.

The answer lies in making the commute comfortable - public transport, car pools, good shaded pavements, cycle tracks...

I'm seriously contemplating selling my car (my brothers usage is similarly much reduced and we could easily share)

Last edited by adisag : 30th April 2011 at 18:37.
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Old 30th April 2011, 19:01   #27
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kavesh55 View Post

.. bring your car only if you own the space or can afford the parking.

People in jackets hop in and hop out of cabs, and buses at times. I feel its a model that should be applied to most business districts.
This is a great idea really. Bring a car/bike/vehicle to a point and use public transportation from then onwards. We had tried this in Bangalore successfully. We used to park around Infantry road and take an auto anywhere in MG road area. In Pune also if we have to go to old city areas, we park at a strategic place and take an auto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vina View Post
If the availability of Meru/Easycabs could be made better I perhaps would never have bought anything.
Strong statement. Whatever it is, it is good to have a personal vehicle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
Come Saturday, however, you want to go out with your family and will therefore use the car. Anyone notice that traffic jams are worse on a Saturday evening than on a week day evening?
Thats why we used to go around on Sunday mornings.
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Old 30th April 2011, 21:24   #28
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

+ to KiloAlpha

I beg to differ, when we say cars are addictive. When in Middle East till 2008, where fuel is cheaper (should I say literally free ?), public transport almost in-existent, you are forced to get behind the wheels to be mobile asap.

But when back in India, and in a Bangalore, where growth has been heterogeneous and not in pace with the population count, my obvious choice was to settle for a 2-wheeler - though I could have easily afforded a car. The social stigma of not owning a 4-wheeler (status symbol ?) and the constant question on why on a 2-wheeler - had never been a concern, but safety concerns were obviously making us think. Coupled to that was the very poor and unreliable public transport network, experiences with ricks, cabs - that don't turn up exactly when you need them especially if the distance is less or within city and no better solution if you are a family of 4 adults. All thoughts made us add a 4-wheeler into our family a few months back. Still, the 2-wheeler is the preferred choice if the passenger count is 1/2 and clocks more kms week-on-week.

We decide to take the 4 wheeler out in the weekends / rainy days, only if we know that it would be easy for us to get a parking at the destination. Obvious reasons - it is easier to look at other alternate options if feasible, rather spend time hunting for parking, worse get fined for parking violation / vehicle towed away. But, with an unreliable mass mode of transport a possibility, we are not left with an option most of the time.

In conclusion, the question is a dilemma on whether we should decide not own a car OR crib when you are not able to reach your destination on time, for multiple reasons beyond one's control. I hope many would agree, if one is presented with an option of better and cost-effective public transport, they would definitely make an effort to shun taking their vehicles out whenever possible.

BTW, when is Metro rolling out in Bangalore? Are more Volvos being added? Is the Govt. serious about reducing vehicle count on the road and improve standard of living conditions in the city? When most of such public transport queries are addressed, I am sure, my car would become redundant.

Anyway, why are corporates and the Govt. promoting car lease plans with tax cuts, instead of incentives for using public transport (pardon my ignorance, if the fares are already subsidized. But, as I compare bus fares in Bangalore with other Metros, it makes me think otherwise)? Will this not make people decide on public transport and not buy a car, if they have a choice? Just my thoughts.
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Old 30th April 2011, 21:39   #29
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Seriously. Everyone wants to buy a car... Who asked you to commute in your own car?"

OK, a few options:
.
.
.
3. Don't own a car! This is what this thread is about. If I sit down and calculate, if I use a bike for the regular commute (which I anyway end up doing because of traffic) and use an autorickshaw or a call taxi on all other days a vehicle is needed for non-work-commute purposes, then I will actually end up saving quite a bunch
The way I look at it, one of the major problem is public transport is not at all good in most of our Indian Cities (especially the growing cities).

Very few cities have good public transportation system like regular and frequent buses, local trains (underground and overground), taxis/shuttle etc.

So, for somebody travelling 30-40kms up/dn daily, are left with very few choices and end up buying a vehicle.

Getting an auto to agree to go to my destination (2/5/or 10 kms) sometimes becomes a 30mins. wait with 7-8 autos refusing or asking for twice the fare (by meter) and finally after getting refused by many autos one guy finally agrees to go with proper meter fair... oh! as if given a favor !

There is no - NO REFUSAL system for public vehicles including taxis/autos in most cities (not the call taxi).

Parking problem is quite obvious due to many reasons (IMO) -

our respective state govt. keeps on increasing the road tax but roads are not built as per the requirement ( as per my limited knowledge, a major city must have at least 25% of its entire space as roads - how many of our cities have them and if at all some have, how many are free of hawkers, road side illegal stalls etc ?).

One more important factor is, cars in India is not an old trend, I mean to say, in the last 5-7 years no. of cars increased ~3X, but if we carefully notice, the house built during same or before 5-7 years - not all of them have parking space (now a days most of them have). Even some of the corporations (municipal) have changed rules to have car parking as must depending on the no. of floors/sq. feet in a building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Long rant.
quite relevant in todays context


If saving money is to opt for not buying a car - then why even call taxi, there must be many other options, which can be even cheaper.

If parking is problem - do not block the public roads, get a rented house with parking or if staying in your own house which doesn't have parking, get a garage on rent.

Highways on weekend - our good old IndianRailways are cheap, even the private Volvos are cheap compared to our own vehicles (running cost of the drive), obviously one would miss the fun of long drives

Last edited by AvonA7 : 30th April 2011 at 21:43.
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Old 30th April 2011, 21:46   #30
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Thanks all, a lot of valid points raised. I brought up the topic with my family today (I'm serious about this), my family were very silent. They did point out occsassions when we had to take my pregnant sister to the doc late in the night sometimes, when it would have been difficult (if not impossible) to get a car. Another point raised was, "so that's the end of long drives?". Looks like a bhpian's family is a bhpian's family . So @xingamazon, I totally "get" what you're saying!

@gaurav_chopra04, just a thought: how do I put this in light words?.. well, maybe others have an equal right too, to park there? As far as I know, the owner of the house doesn't get any priority to park his car in front of the house, as the car is parked on the road and not within the property owned by the house owner. Correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, I'm exploring option (2) tomorrow i.e getting a call driver for a day. Goingt to Ashok Pillar area tomorrow for a function. I find it ridiculous to get a day driver just for parking purposes, but I guess it will cost less than getting a call taxi.

Some mentioned that parking fees are not affordable. Well I just want to say, expensive paid parking is still better than NO parking spaces. I don't mind paying Rs.100 for a whole day in the weekends, for a legal paid parking. It will cost less than getting a rick or call taxi. But even such spaces are not available.

By the way, here's another option: Park the car in a mall or multiplex, and take an auto to the destination from there. Any risk associated with that? Is that illegal to use the mall/multiplex if we are not going to use the mall/multiplex?

Last edited by rajushank84 : 30th April 2011 at 21:53.
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