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The Practicality of Being Car Free in Nanaimo

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Posted on : 9:40 AM | By : Nic | In : ,

Marshmallow is still dead.... and not very practical for us in the near future. It's an insanely economical, earth-friendly little car, but it needs a new starter. It's not that expensive to fix but since we all won't be able to fit three carseats in it starting probably next week, we are wondering what the next step is.

We've been without a car for about a week, and admittedly we have borrowed our neighbor's car a couple of times (who have the same kind we have), but I haven't missed it really. I usually go shopping for household necessities once a month, and we usually do our groceries once a week, but now our groceries are delivered. So we can either invest in a used van, or invest in an alternative, which means a bike for me and a better one for our 6-year-old. We already have a trailer and a really nice bike for my husband.

But what about long distance options? All our family and friends live at least 20 minutes away by car, and some live 45 minutes to an hour away, so we would need to use the train or the bus.

The train costs about $120 roundtrip for the family to go visit any of these friends and family. Unlimited train is a minimum of $2000 for our family during the off season, and $3600 for the peak season.

The bus costs $60 round trip to visit friends and family using the IslandLink express bus. The regular bus would cost $20 for the whole family to get on as many busses as we wanted in a day. We could buy a monthly pass for about $90 for the whole family. Every regular bus has a bike rack

The car right now only costs us $120 a month in insurance and gas (plus repairs). I think a van would be probably double that. But... a van is soooooo much more convenient and practical for driving places, camping, trips... *sigh*

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