When his car lease ended this month, Austin entrepreneur Andrew Busey decided not to renew it.
Instead, he is going to test whether it's feasible to get around Austin using ride-hailing app Ride Austin.
He lives downtown, less than a mile from Conversable’s offices at Capital Factory. The bigger challenge will be getting across town for appointments and to and from his parents’ home in Dripping Springs.
Why did you give up your car and how is it working so far?
“When I turned in my lease, I thought I’m just going to try to do without a car. I was only driving 3,000 miles a year, and it seems like it would be easy enough to cut out. I walk to work, and to Houndstooth to get coffee, and to lunch. It’s about three miles a day.
It doesn’t always work out as planned. I did something to my shoulder and had to do physical therapy at 38th and I-35. I took Ride Austin up, and it was going to be 30 minutes to get one back, so I just walked. But it’s never more than five minutes downtown.
Dripping Springs is the thing I’m most worried about. People have suggested ZipCar and car2go, but I’d rather do ride-sharing. Even if it’s $80, if I do it once or twice a month it’s not any more than gas.
The thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t actually save you that much money to cancel your car insurance. I thought it would be a big savings, but it turns out when you’re one person and everything is bundled, there are so many discounts. It’s only like a couple hundred bucks a year less.
But obviously I don’t have to pay for the car, and there’s no maintenance and no gas.
I’m also thinking about renting out my (condo) parking space. If you have a downtown space, it’s worth at least $150 a month. In theory, they’re telling me I could sell it for $160,000. But I’m not ready to do that yet.
The weirdest thing about the not having a car thing is I feel like as an American, the car is such an important part of your life and identity. It’s like you kind of lose freedom in one way and gain it in a different way, and that’s weird to acclimate.
I’m just going to do this until I don’t care or think about it anymore, or I’m like ‘Screw it, I have to have a car.’ ”
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