Carless in Seattle requires some planning

KING 5's Ryan Takeo reports.

SEATTLE -- About 1 in 6 Seattle households don’t have a car, according to an American Community Survey.

One of the biggest challenges is logistics.

Kristin Kopp has been carless for two years. Each work day she takes an express bus from the University District to downtown Seattle before transferring to a work shuttle.

“You do coordinate and think about where you're going next and what time a bus is leaving,” she said. “It's kind of like a game.”

Kristin uses some other options for getting around, including car shares, rideshares, rental cars, and asking friends for rides.

Others who ditch their car for the commute just build the added time into their day.

Steve Courtney, the owner of Stewart Street Barbers in downtown Seattle, commutes by bus in the morning and rides his bike 17 miles back home to Kenmore at night.

“Partly for fitness and partly I got to get home, and it's better than sitting on the bus,” he said.

Whether going carless even part-time depends on your exact commute, a spokesperson from Commute Seattle did give tips on starting out.

They recommend to plan your alternate commute for one morning and try it out. Leave plenty of time. They said the goal isn’t necessarily for people to go carless full-time, but instead maybe lose the car for the commute a day or two a week.

We are creatures of habit, but as our area adds jobs, that’s only going to continue to add traffic.

Since 2011, the number of Seattle workers has increased from 500,052 to 575,744. During that same period, the number of vehicles used during the commute increased from 200,645 to 211,485. Thus, the percentage of commuting vehicles versus the number of workers has decreased from 40 percent to about 37 percent.

Copyright 2016 KING


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