Uber and Lyft - the pros and cons of rideshare commuting

It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve had a car key, car insurance, or a car.  I’ve traded parking meters, garages, washes and oil changes for drop offs, back seats, and long-winded conversations with strangers.  

But why you ask?  The more appropriate question is, when?  Before the era of rideshare apps, it was utterly inconceivable to be sans car in LA.  With poor (and let's be honest), pretty depressing public transit options, the best way to get around La-La land was always à la car.

Then, Uber and Lyft were born and though I wasn’t at all an early adapter, I’ve certainly been a very frequent user for the past 18 plus months.  What were once tiny star-up eggs have hatched into a behemoth service, forever changing this Angelino's life.  

While most West Coasters limit their indulgence of rideshare pleasures to alcohol laced weekend outings and special occasions, some of us have opted to make it our primary mode of transpiration.  We’ve replaced our driver’s seat with a back seat and curb-to-curb service only a Wall Street mover and shaker could once afford.

Now we are all wealthy, now we can all be chauffeured around like Lady Di.  It’s the don of a new era and I must confess that it’s a glorious feeling to get to my destination and not worry about the dreaded LA parking problem.

So how did it all happen you ask?  As all great things in life, purely by accident.  In February 2017, after I had exhausted all possible lease extensions on my shiny, white, status symbol of a Mercedes, it was finally time to part ways.  I wasn’t feeling particularly committal at the time, and the idea of picking a new lease, and signing a new contact just didn’t seem appealing to me.  To lighten my mental load, I decided to return the car and give myself a few days before bringing a new set of wheels home.

The next day, as I sat in my home office, I glanced out the window to the empty spot where my car used to be, and you know what?  It felt so good to see it empty; it was as if a weight had been lifted, roughly 3000lbs of it.  

So I took rideshares for the next few days, or walked in comfortable shoes, like cushioned Rockport heels, while still contemplating my next lease, until the feeling that I MUST get a car completely dissipated.  The void was replaced with a sense of freedom, the kind of liberty I have no intention relinquishing.   

Have you been considering giving your car the boot?  Here’s a quick pros and cons list to help you get some clarity.

Pros: No parking, car washes, air fresheners, registration, insurance, maintenance, payments, gas, and no headache. You can get work done on your commute.

Cons: No trunk to carry all your junk in and no alone time in a car.  Some days you pay nothing, some days you spend a lot.  Not all drivers are created equal and not all rides are smooth and pleasant.  Long distance drives are expensive, running errands all over town doesn’t really work nor is it cost effective.

With Love,

This post is in collaboration with Rockport and Shopstyle, thank you for reading and for your support.

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