RECA’s President Went Car-Free For a Month, And So Can You

Screen shot 2015-03-30 at 11.32.21 AMimage via Capital Metro

Ward Tisdale, president of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA), recently wrapped up a 30-day experiment, which he called #30DaysOffTheRoad. As the name suggests, he spent a month getting around Austin without his pickup truck.

Here’s how his month looked, in his words:

  • Bus, 34 trips, $63.
  • B-cycle, 8 trips, $0 (I have an annual $80 subscription; rides under 30 minutes are free.)
  • Car rides, 7 trips, $0. (Also known as bumming a ride.)
  • Lyft, 6 trips, $98.63.
  • My bike, 5 trips, $0.
  • Car2go, 4 trips, $30.18.
  • My truck, 4 trips. Yes, I relapsed four times but three of them were on weekends to take my daughter Laura some place fun. Only once did I drive my truck to work downtown (for a reason that now escapes me.)
  • Total cost: $191.81

“Overall, I have to admit that getting around town without my truck wasn’t as hard as I anticipated,” Tisdale said in his blog.

Movability chatted with him about the experiment, and what some of his takeaways have been.

Q: As you point out, Capital Metro was your go-to source of alternative transportation (although it’s great that there were plenty of other options that helped you be flexible). What would you like to see Capital Metro do to make transit commuting an option for more commuters?

A: “I would like to see a more concerted effort on Capital Metro’s part to reach out to difference audiences in the community and get them to try transit. I think they could show that it’s a viable way to get around town, and I think they could more aggressive in trying to boost ridership.”

 

Q: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of trying an alternative commute, but hasn’t made the leap yet?

A: “Just give it a try. I know a lot of my friends say “oh, I need to take the bus.” But it’s just one of those things you have to start doing. If you give it a shot you may never go back.”

 

Q: What role do you think real estate will play in our transportation future?

A: “There are huge connections between land use and transportation. I know that RECA, which represents commercial real estate in Austin, is a big proponent of increasing density in the city’s core. It’s going to be key that we redevelop Austin to become more dense, particularly in major corridors, but there are also some neighborhoods that could accept more density as well. That’s the only scenario where transit becomes more viable.”

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