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Old 10th August 2011, 18:07   #76
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

I believe the OP was just hinting at better usage of non-renewable resource (hydrocarbons) and seen in that context, 1person/car means that many more fuel-burners on the road, leading to :
- usage (or wastage, as you look at it) of precious fuel.
- pollution
- clogging up of roads, leading to more traffic, which inturn wastes fuel and causes more pollution.

While no one is suggesting that we should give up our cars, the context in which this is to be looked at is optimum usage. Some examples :

1) Eg. if you have to go to the nearby grocery shop which is within a km away, walk down - will not only keep you fit, but will avoid the 3 issues mentioned earlier and save you money. And if it is like any typical grocery/supermarket, there won't be enough parking and you would end up parking on the road, inconveniencing others. Eg. the morons who come to shop at Spencers, NelsonManickam Road, Chennai and park on the main road.

2) If it is an errand involving say a couple or kms travel and final destination has limited or no parking for cars, could help to bike down or cycle down.

3) If travelling with family/kids/others, a car would indeed be justified for safety/convenience and other benefits.

While car-pooling brings benefits like savings in fuel/money, the idea inherently has an element of caring for the environment involved in it. I have extensively done car-pooling and can comment from experience :

1) 1st time I did this was in 1998 when I first had a car at Chennai. To&Fro commute was ~25kms, petrol cost only Rs27 or so a litre, but I felt guilty driving alone. But I also loved driving. So what I did was I would pick up a colleague who lived 2kms away from my home (in opposite direction to our office), drive to work. In the evening drop him home and then get home. Was inconvenient, yes and since I did not have him share fuel cost (though he did offer to share many a time), there was no cost saving to me - actually I ended up driving 4kms extra to pick/drop him, but this helped rid the guilt and I could enjoy the drive.

2) Then did car-pooling with another colleague for 3 years or so - using our cars on alternate days. Yes, sometimes one of us got delayed due to the other, but we just saw it as a minor inconvenience.

So car-pooling is indeed an option, but only if you want it to work and put in the effort. Ofcourse when you have 3-4 people car-pooling, the issues get complicated.

P.S.: BTW, today I am one of those the OP saw at tech-park - I drive ~40kms daily (3.5litres petrol) to work. Office cab is available, but does not work for me since I travel almost all weekends. I do wish I had opted for a smaller car (Alto would have done fine), but that's hindsight. I wish they come up with an Alto-LXi that is a 2-seater, rear space only for luggage, maybe even smaller in dimension, more FE, cheaper etc. just for office-goers travelling alone.

Or maybe someone could introduce these Canopys that I saw at Japan - no balancing issues as in bikes, a roof to keep rains/sun out, FE etc.
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Last edited by supremeBaleno : 10th August 2011 at 18:23.
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Old 10th August 2011, 18:17   #77
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
What I'm concerned about is that we're heading the way of US cities where even a good public transport system is not enough to offset heavy private car usage, simply because the "culture of the car" is so heavily ingrained in the collective psyche.
This is so not true! I personally know 2 Sr. VP's working in Goldman Sachs, NYC who do not HAVE a car! This is because NYC has good public transport! LA in stark contrast is quite poor and hence the famous grid locks that happen frequently in that city.

I will repeat what I have said in an earlier post: People are not stupid to spend more IF a viable and efficient public transport is available.
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Old 10th August 2011, 18:19   #78
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

^^From the point of a person travelling to/ from work, what is more important? Comfort and peace of mind shelling out a few extra bucks or saving that money to get thrown around?
I tried to use public transport to my workplace a couple of times. I was pushed, jostled and finally squeezed into a smelly dirty corner of the bus surrounded by other sweaty stinking people. I was sweaty enough so I assume I must have been part of them too. There were smokers, paan chewers/ spitters among others. To make things worse, there is no direct bus from my residence to my workplace, both quite central. I had to change a bus for which I had to wait quite a long time in both directions. Total commute time around 90 minutes.
On the other hand, the commute is around 45 minutes by car and around 35 minutes by bike. For the added comfort and convenience I prefer a car. Whether I can afford it is my problem. Of my waking hours, I cannot afford to spend 3 hours a day on the commute, Maybe it will save me a few bucks, but I will be totally fatigued. It will leave me with nothing in the tank. I choose to spend the money instead because it saves me precious time and energy.
And by the way, I am extra cautious not to splash water/ mud on bystanders or pedestrians so I would appreciate that people dont peep into my car to see if I have people there or not
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Old 10th August 2011, 19:08   #79
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
To take this argument to its ridiculous extreme, when hailing an autorickshaw or a taxi, please ensure that you share it with at least 2-3 more people going in the same direction. Where does this stop?

The government has to take some responsibility for the absolutely pitiful transport infrastructure in our cities. If I don't drive my car to work the next best option is a rickety bus where I sit with 2 other people, cramped and uncomfortable- and that is NOT the public bus service I am referring to, it's my company bus! I don't even think there is a public bus service from where I live (which is a fairly developed residential area incidentally) to my workplace!

I am going to renew my attempts to find a good set of car pool buddies and in the process at least knock a couple of cars off the road now, but damned if I am gong to feel guilty driving alone in a car that I worked my butt off to pay for.
This doesn't stop anywhere and doesn't need to either. I drive my car daily to the office 'alone' and will keep on doing so with no guilt.

When the Nano came, some people argued that it was a bad idea since a lot many people will buy cars and the cities will become congested. What the hell? The solution is to build more, bigger and better roads. And keep on enhancing the infrastructure perennially...

And I certainly do not claim to speak for everybody, but I know some people who ride public transport/bike coz they want to save money. However, they 'package' this in 'convenience' wrapper so as to sound better. Maybe sub-consciously. I have nothing against those people or against people who 'actually' think that they can save environment by not riding their cars. However, none of them should claim that it is the best practice. For most of us tbhpains, we live driving cars. Period.
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Old 10th August 2011, 19:23   #80
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Whats wrong in that? If I had a large SUV I too would take it to work everyday. And I would go alone.
Driving my own car to work means I get to go and come when I want. Freedom to choose where I want to go after/before work.
What if everyone started thinking like that? Dont get me wrong Im not saying we must not drive alone. Im just saying that personally i feel a little guilty.
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Old 10th August 2011, 19:38   #81
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

My response inline-

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
What difference would that make? - SUVs are normally diesel. Have you seen the smoke they emmit? even the new ones! And i concede its all in the head..(the difference)
Save a few feet on one of the lanes or save some fuel? - Now multiply that a hundred times over to get the larger picture.

For the former, there is no lane discipline in any case and for the latter it would be a better idea to switch off all engines while stationary for a minute or more. - You realise that you are generalising without any kind of data backing your ststement/claim right?

I dont think anyone here should take the right to judge others driving their own cars. - No one is trying to be harsh, but society needs to introspect to improve the quality of life for all.

If someone/ something has to be judged it has to be the lack of town planning and infrastructure by the so called city planners. - Fair enough, but how is that productive now?

What has been done by these departments in the last 15 years? They had an opportunity to plan our urban areas well which they have squandered perhaps forever. IMHO all that has been done is the approval of plots for builders/ projects. That is not town planning. I agree with you on this

And before somebody lynches me for stating the obvious or for asking what I have done, I have done my job, paid my taxes and bills on time. If someone else had done their job diligently, this situation would not have risen in the first place - I think if any one deserves lynching it is the system, the people who are entrusted the work of seeing that the city runs smoothly and its citizens are happy.
/end rant
I drive on Old Madras road
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Old 10th August 2011, 20:23   #82
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by adidac369 View Post
What if everyone started thinking like that? Dont get me wrong Im not saying we must not drive alone. Im just saying that personally i feel a little guilty.
I don't get it, a person works hard makes enough money to buy a large SUV or an expensive car and takes it on the road, why is this ""wrong"" or why does this make you you feel quilty?

Do you feel guilty when you eat a lavish meal at an expensive restaurant? when 100/1000s go to bed with on empty stomachs everyday?
Will you stop going to such places?
Will you stop eating a proper meal and eat just the basics to survive? Your body does not need ice cream, chocolates, tobacco etc so why eat them? While your at it, you should also save water, so dont take a shower everyday.
You don't need to be online so much so shut down your PC and save some electricity.

Hippies
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Old 10th August 2011, 21:12   #83
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

Been reading this thread since it was created and chose to stay away from posting. Take some time off and read all the posts. Aren't we being childish?

We need to sort out this thread:
Thread creator: Please, please, pretty please, clarify why have you raised this question. Is it because:
  1. of environmental concerns
  2. of physics - more people, more stability of the vehicle, less people lesser stability.
  3. of traffic situation - sharing vehicles=lesser vehicles=less traffic.

In case it is 1: Vehicular pollution contributes to 15 percent of overall pollution, industrial pollution being the greatest evil by far. So, start by learning stuff. The car is the obvious 'bad boy' in the entire 'green thingie' because you can actually see and smell the smoke from your car's tailpipe. What you do not see is the environmental harm inflicted when you buy your favorite Nike t-shirt or your Jockey undies or your favorite beer. The amount of water and energy 'wasted' to produce each of these items is simply mind-boggling. So, you see, just reducing your carbon footprint through judicial use of your private vehicle is not enough while you double flush your pot because you do not like the way your poop smells or you shampoo your hair every other day (manufacturing shampoo is highly energy consuming). Using less is not the solution (although it contributes to sustainability). Using less is just a stop-gap solution, we need to think out of the box, we need to find alternatives, otherwise by the laws of nature (lessening supply-increasing demand-depleting resources) we are doomed anyway. So, buy a Hummer for all I care. Do your bit by all means, but make it holistic, understand the carbon footprint behind each and every action of yours.

In case it is 2: I totally agree with you.

In case it is 3: Understand the fact that India is unique. We are what - 1/6th of the world population - crammed into a piddling little dot of Earth's land area? How can you complain about road congestion here!? And add to it the fact that we are the second fastest growing nation in the world after China. Dude, I am worried if I will be able to take a dump in private without two people looking down my neck in the next 20 years, and you worry about people driving alone in their cars!?
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Old 10th August 2011, 21:21   #84
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

Well I will not be considering environment, pollution etcetera while replying on this topic.

Driving alone in my car with my kind of music on is my technique of reducing stress and tension. When I drive alone I just concentrate on the music or the engine note and feel nirvana. My kind of fellows must be guessing what I want to convey.

I mostly prefer to drive alone as I get lots of disturbance from backbenchers.

There are so many other things which we can do to save environment other than carpool and not firing crackers on Diwali.
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Old 10th August 2011, 22:17   #85
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by adidac369 View Post
My response inline-



I drive on Old Madras road
And what data does one have to substantiate claims of solo driven vehicles?
just try to look around next time and see if more vehicles have only one person or are kept running at traffic signals. You will have your answer.

If you think SUVs belch smoke, have you looked at public transport or auto rickshaws?

Other than that, I guess Gooney and CaptainSlow have put this across quite succintly.
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Old 10th August 2011, 22:26   #86
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

I guess we are stretching this topic from both ends and we all will collectively fail to understand what is really required from us team-BHPians to do.

I would say, we have to be reasonable and identify where and how we can contribute to save/protect environment. We all know what are the environmental problems, and how vehicles running on road contribute to it. Most of us do our bit in different ways, but, being auto enthusiastic community, we should try to do our bit in protecting our environment by burning less fuel, which is one of the contributing factor.

One thing is given, we cant give up our cars and driving! But try to reduce it, atleast few days in a week, or atleast even a day. For this no one will thank us but we should be proud of. And no will punish us or no need to feel guilty about. If you believe in it, just do it.

And, for few there are no options, so you cannot do anything about it. Thats just fine as well.
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Old 10th August 2011, 22:57   #87
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

Car pooling is a very noble idea.

At the end of the day, a car is a mode of transport. We Indians still haven't come out of the 'Angrezon ke ghulam' mentality and hence the first thing we try to do when money flows in is buy a car, irrespective of whether we can reach the destination in a shorter span of time walking, let potholed roads break our backs, let metropolitan traffic make us pull our hair, cause stress, BP etc. etc. etc.

Out here car ownership is more a matter of prestige than utility and we don't realise that the real luxury today is parking space.

If we keep our passion aside and actually spare a moment to think about it, we would realise that owning a car in a place like Mumbai is nothing less than nightmarish.

Last edited by Jayabusa : 10th August 2011 at 23:00.
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Old 11th August 2011, 07:47   #88
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by Jayabusa View Post
We Indians still haven't come out of the 'Angrezon ke ghulam' mentality and hence the first thing we try to do when money flows in is buy a car, irrespective of whether we can reach the destination in a shorter span of time walking, let potholed roads break our backs, let metropolitan traffic make us pull our hair, cause stress, BP etc. etc. etc.

Out here car ownership is more a matter of prestige than utility and we don't realise that the real luxury today is parking space.
. So buying a car makes me an angrez ka ghulam eh? Thanks for taking this argument to the next level. This is beyond ridiculous now.

By the way, why are you even a member here if these are your thoughts? It's one thing to preach responsible usage of one's vehicle, quite another to equate buying a personal vehicle as some of sort of sin equivalent to snuggling up to your colonial masters. Your post borders on abuse, and it's not funny.
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Old 11th August 2011, 08:09   #89
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

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Originally Posted by Jayabusa View Post
Car pooling is a very noble idea.
It is just an austerity measure, let's not start handing out noble peace awards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayabusa View Post
At the end of the day, a car is a mode of transport.
And you are in this forum because....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayabusa View Post
We Indians still haven't come out of the 'Angrezon ke ghulam' mentality and hence the first thing we try to do when money flows in is buy a car,
Wow, what imagination. We must have got it from the original Angrez ke Ghulams, the Americans. They buy cars for every stage of life, and were under the British too. If they could not shake off this ghulami trait after 235 years of independence, what chance do we have after mere 64 years of independence?
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Old 11th August 2011, 08:56   #90
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Default Re: Single Person Commuting in a Car ? Good or Bad ?

this thread is a waste of time and should be closed. none of us here can become the self appointed judges of whats right and whats wrong. clearly one man's meat is clearly another man's poison so lets just shut this topic down.
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