Thought I'd blog about something a little less depressing.
This picture makes me look more green than I am - maybe I should show half of a Ford Fiesta instead. Regardless, as of a week ago my wife and I are down from two cars to one. She almost never drives for work, I only drive sporadically for work, and our off hours we usually either don't drive or drive together. We live three minutes' walk from a Caltrain station that we take to San Fracisco for work, and Bay Area BikeShare gets me to my office in 10 minutes.
I've got a monthly pass on Caltrain, and BikeShare unlimited rides for $90/year. My community, Belmont CA, is very walkable/bikeable if you live down by the train where we do instead of up in the hills. The main street in San Mateo County, El Camino, even has pretty good bus service every 15 minutes, although I don't use it enough.
It finally occurred to me that I could save about $1000 annually on insurance and $1k-plus in depreciation by not replacing my aging Prius, and then do an occasional Lyft or rental. We'll see if this will keep us out of cars even more, but being able to do this is an advantage that decent public transit and land use has given us.
The Prius was a great car though - 12 years, 187,000 miles, still getting 43 mpg at the end and still working when we donated it. No huge issues with it, some occasional work. I blew out the rear shocks by driving too fast on 50 miles of washboard road in Death Valley, but I may share some of the blame for that.
Two related points - Bay Area BikeShare is expanding from 700 to 7000 bikes starting next year. We're hardly pioneers with this idea, but I'm glad to see it take off here and help solve the Last Mile Problem. The bikes work pretty well - they're as durable (and heavy) as hell.
And a secret for those flying into San Francisco Airport that took me years to figure out - the city bus service is your friend. Anywhere from Palo Alto to San Francisco (depending on where specifically you're going in your city destination), bus service is likely faster than getting someone to come pick you up, maybe faster and definitely cheaper than BART, and not that much slower than Lyft or taxi, if the bus departure time is close to when you're ready. More info here.