You've Not A Ride
June 24, 2012 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Carless in Suburbia

I am unable to drive myself to my job for the next 6 months-I have a ride for the next few months, but after that my coverage will become spotchy. The drive by myself is 40 minutes along major regional highways.

Difficulty- I don't live near public transportation, nor to my knowledge near anyone else employed by the firm.

Ideas on how I get to work?
posted by Query to Travel & Transportation around Elizabeth City, NC (14 answers total)
Disregard location, actual location is in general mid-atlantic region.
posted by Query at 7:39 PM on June 24, 2012

Can you set up a carpool with someone at work? Offer to help pay for gas, etc.?

Are you in an area where slugging is common? (Though you would have to get yourself to a pickup spot.)

It gets expensive, but is there a commuter Dial-A-Ride service that would cover your needs? Usually cheaper than a taxi, but slower because of making multiple stops along the way.
posted by xedrik at 7:44 PM on June 24, 2012

- Use next couple months to save for a used car to drive during ride-less months
- Join internet carpool websites/mailing lists, look for people in your area
- Move closer?
- New job?
posted by schroedinger at 7:46 PM on June 24, 2012

Is it that you don't have a car, or that you lost your driving privileges?

Carpooling is your best hope. Try a local paper or Craigslist to see if someone in your area is commuting near where you work.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:01 PM on June 24, 2012

In some situations a combination of public transit plus cabs or car-pooling to and from the public transit make up the difference.
posted by bleep at 8:09 PM on June 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Can you bike to transit? It may be unfeasible to bike ~40 miles a day, but, say, 10 miles to a train station could be doable.
posted by Oktober at 8:13 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it possible to take a cab or carpool with someone near you to a transit line? Or is cycling to/from transit a possibility?

Or to do a two-part carpool? Say you live in Elizabeth City and work in Norfolk (I know you said disregard, I'm just using it as an example). Maybe you have a neighbour who works in or near Currituck and a coworker who lives in Currituck and you can get a ride from your neighbour to Currituck and then meet up with your coworker?

Or to set up some sort of telework situation so you can work most of the days from home?

Maybe find a temporary residence near your work (which could be a cheap roommate thing), and commute there for the week, returning home on the weekends? Perhaps you could arrange a rearranged schedule, working 4 10-hour days rather than 5 8-hours along with this?

Put up flyers in the lobby of your office building / coffee shops and lunch counters near the office to find a carpooler who lives near you, but may work for another firm near yours?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:15 PM on June 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Start putting out the word that you will have an issue in a few months? Check if your employer has any carpooling, etc, type programs?

I lived about a ten minute drive from where I worked. After giving up my car, I left on foot an hour early. I rarely had to walk the whole way. People would stop and offer me rides. Over time, lots of people knew my situation and I had lots of offers of "give me a call...", which I generally did not pursue because I didn't need to.

But I am telling you that to say that if you are open about your situation without acting like you are begging or demanding or whining, some people will respect you for consistently showing up on time in spite of having a transportation issue and people may say "I know someone who goes that way, let me ask them..." Over the course of a few months you may be able to find the ride you need.
posted by Michele in California at 9:32 PM on June 24, 2012

Can you rent a room near work for a few months? It might not be a bad idea in general. At 80 miles / day divided by 20 mpg times $4 per gallon times 20 work days per month, minus one round trip per week to go home on weekends, if you can rent a guest room, garage, or couch within walking or biking distance of your job for approx. $250 / month, you'd come out ahead.
posted by salvia at 9:45 PM on June 24, 2012

In retrospect, my comment makes less sense than it did in my head. (It made sense to me because I have lucked out and found a guest room to rent for not much more than $250, but maybe that was another era.) My basic point was that one option might be to rent a place to sleep (however modest) within walking or biking distance, and that the gas money you'd save could help defray the extra cost.
posted by salvia at 11:02 PM on June 24, 2012

You can take a taxi.
posted by Houstonian at 1:36 AM on June 25, 2012

If you've had your licence pulled because of (ahem) legal problems, find a lawyer to file an appeal - If your lawyer filed one and lost, find a better one.
posted by Orb2069 at 4:15 AM on June 25, 2012

Mid-atlantic can pretty good in a lot of spots for regional transportation. Might be a combo of busses or trains; "not near" public transportation - how not near? A few miles on a bike mihht pretty doable in a number of instances. If you're near a major employer it can, at times, be possible there is a transport option that lets off near them. One place I worked would have been two hours by bus plus a couple of transfers and miles walking; but when I moved it was a train ride then a half mile walk. Is there a room you can rent during the week, just for sleeping, go home weekends?

Is your employer the only one in the area? My office building has a number of companies and I might start there, posting a note in a communal area (if allowed) or striking up conversations with folks in the building about car-share options.

Seconding hooking up with share-a-ride programs through the city/county.
posted by tilde at 5:27 AM on June 25, 2012

If it were me, I'd probably look for carpools, looking both on Craigslist and also (if you're not trying to cover up your carless-ness) seeing who your nearest coworker is and incentivizing them (read: bribing) to wait for you in the mornings before heading in. This might involve biking or taking some other form of transportation to their house, leaving it there, and then doing the reverse in the afternoons.

The other thing to consider would be a moped, electric bicycle, or scooter. You can probably pick one up off of Craigslist for fairly cheap and sell it when you're done (although you'll lose some money since you're going to be buying and selling in entirely the wrong seasons). However, you want to make sure this is legal: if the underlying reasons for this question is because you have a DUI/DWI, you may be barred from even using a 49cc license-free scooter on a public road. Not sure about electric-assist bicycles or something like a Segway, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:12 AM on June 25, 2012

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