Sunday, June 30, 2019

Decisions, decisions: Carsharing, Biking, or Transit?

Our Honda Fit got us to Richmond in about 25 minutes

When you're going out for the day, how do you decide how to get there? We have quite a few options for getting around, including biking with our own bikes, bike share, walking, transit, carshare, & car rental. The vast majority of the time we just hop on the cargo bike--that's how we take the kids to school, to appointments, to playdates. It's how we get groceries & run errands. But when we're going places outside our neighbourhood, I usually think about how to get there a bit more.

Almost showtime!
I thought I'd share with you how I decide which mode to use when I'm planning a day out like we did today.

My decision-making process for a recent outing went something like this:

Getting a kitty painted on her arm
  1. Google Map the location: Silver City in Richmond, then the Pacific Autism Family Network.
  2. Compare the directions for cycling, driving , & transit: cycling would take about two & a half hours round trip, driving would be about an hour, transit would be almost three hours.
  3. Estimate the costs of each method of travel: free, $45, $18.90. 
  4. Cycling comes out as the winner for cost, though it takes twice as long as driving. So next I'd look at the route, hilliness, what cycling infrastructure there would be, if any. Richmond is pretty flat, but getting home again up & over Vancouver is a bit of a slog with a cargo bike full of kids. As for bike infra, there wasn't really a great route all the way there. I've biked to the Pacific Autism Family Network before & it's really not great getting on & off Sea Island.
  5. What is parking like? Are there bike racks near the building we're going to? In this case, yes for PAFN & not sure for Silver City. Is it a high bike theft area? I wasn't too concerned with this for our outing to Richmond, but a number of places in Vancouver are fairly risky, so I'd be more likely to use bike share or another mode, rather than our own bikes. 
  6. Next question is will we need to bring much stuff with us? We didn't need a lot of gear for a movie & lunch, but we did come home with a few prizes from the event. Not something that would preclude cycling or transit though.
  7. Last question would be how much do we want to walk? My hip is currently sore & the weather forecast was for fairly warm, so I wasn't keen on walking far. Transit would involve the most walking, Modo would mean walking a couple blocks to & from the car to pick up & drop off. Biking would be the least walking.
Heading home with way too much candy & a short-lived balloon animal
So for this trip, as you've already seen from the photos, I decided to book a Modo for our trip. Since I wasn't sure when exactly we'd be heading home, I just made it an Open Return booking so we didn't have to worry about getting back by a specific time. The kids really enjoyed the movie, the treats & the games at PAFN & we were able to get home quickly in the comfort of an air-conditioned car on a warm, sunny day. 

Disclaimer: As a Modo Blogger Ambassador, I receive driving credits in return for posting about carsharing with Modo Car Cooperative. 

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