Alternative Means of Transportation not so easy to find.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mama2littleman, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    The saving gas thread got me thinking (always a dangerous thing) ...


    So, Do any of you have any ideas on how to save any more fuel?

    Nikki
     
  2. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Carpooling might still be an option, if you can find either people who always work the same shifts you do, or enough people who work when you do to keep pooling with different people. (eg, Jane on Monday, John on Tuesday, etc.) My nephew does that from Artesia to the Indian Hills gas fields. Otherwise, about all you can do is keep that car in peak performance and drive frugally. And for those of us who need extra ballast in winter conditions, remember to take it out for summer driving!
     

  3. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Lets just assume that whatever vehicle you drive gets 20 mpg.
    - driving 40 miles per day = 2 gallons of gas per day
    - price of gas increases by $1 per gallon
    - you're paying an extra $2 per day for gasoline = an extra $10 per 5-day week

    Considering the safety issues which you mentioned while biking with a preschooler, the time spent relying on public transportation or the inconvenience of carpooling - you may be further ahead just driving as usual.

    For many/most of us, driving a vehicle is basically a necessity. We all dislike increased costs... but realistically, sometimes the only thing you can do is find ways to make more money to cover those costs.

    cheers,
     
  4. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    I tried to find us something different. We have 5 kids, when I typed in vehicle for 8, it come up with a horse and buggy. :D

    25 miles to town with 5 kids behind a horse. Sticking to my mini-van.

    Cheryl
     
  5. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    Your right, some of us have no choice. There is no public transportation where in our county. And it's too far for me to bike into the next city where I work.
     
  6. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If prices go up much more for gas I am looking at staying at a fiends house in the city for a couple of days a week. Right now at 3.09 I am just about $20/day in gas money... Thats going to hurt the budget.
     
  7. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    Well Nikki, you made a choice a few months ago when you bought a home on the west side of El Paso. Apparently, both on post housing and whatever else was available in the northeast part of El Paso didn't suit you. Gasoline prices were on the rise at that time too. Suntran in El Paso is a pretty well
    developed bus system as well, but there is a limit to the coverage of the routes.
     
  8. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

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    What alternative transportation?? I live 22 miles from work and work night shift. DH travels about 20 miles- day shift, but he leaves here at 5:30 am. There are 2 people that work the same shift as me w/in a half mile, but what if one of us had to stay over 4 hrs(with no advance notice). That's a common occurance where we work. There is no public transportation. I have no desire to ride a motorcycle (safety issues), and besides the added cost of buying, insuring and maintaining one, I couldn't use it in the winter anyway. Bicycle? I don't think riding a bike 20+ miles in the dark on roads with very little shoulder is a good idea.
     
  9. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    Well, I do have friends who have not had a driver's license in over 40 years and they live in the country. They raised 12 children on their homestead, and their children have grown up and do not drive either.

    In fact, a couple of years ago when we were there, one of their sons had come home from college, which was in Ohio. And him and his friend had hiked all the way, slept outside and ate wild foods along the way.

    They have a very successful business, and walk the seven miles to church every Sunday, even in the winter. They also have a horse and wagon, but the older boys use that more. So they can do it. And so can the Amish.

    We did tried so hard not to have a motor vehicle ourselves. But we weren't ready, and we did not have enough money coming in to get ready.

    But I know that we couldn't have even done it for 8 months like we did, if we worked outside jobs, and had to go into a city daily. What would you do with a horse and buggy while you are at work?

    I can't walk far right now because I have a bad knee, and that is just not a option. An electric vehicle is somthing we have talked about. We do have public transportation available, but because it's not on the main route, it would cost $9. one way to the city I go to for shopping. And I imagine it will be going up too.

    Our country has gotton so dependent on automobiles and this transportation system. What is the answer? Not only is it so expensive to maintain, but I think it is used by our goverment to control us. Not to mention how it has ruined our environment. But nobody seems to care about that aspect of it.
     
  10. I have been thinking about going hybrid, but what we need is a hybrid minivan. Which they don't sell here in American yet. My big family of 5 just don't fit in those little hybrid cars to well. I'm also looking into getting a bicycle just for myself and my small errands close to home. I'm thinking that anytime I have to get on the highway I am going to wear one of those Hunters Safety vest.
     
  11. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fortunately (or unfortunately) whichever way you look at it, we are retired so don't have to drive to and from work. But we do run a small farm, which involves vehicles, farm machinery and gas prices ... and of course the retirement income is fixed so we have no flexibility there. If we spend more for gas we have to spend less somewhere else and gas prices impact everything else.

    I keep track of grocery (and other) bills ... checked recently ... and my average grocery bill for a month now, with no changes in what we eat or what we buy, has increased by about 20% from two years ago. Just yesterday, milk that we were paying $2.89 a gallon for is now $3.39.

    We don't have roadside mail delivery, have to pick up mail in the small nearby town at the post office ... and we are now down to 3x a week pickup rather than daily ... and trying to set up "community trips" with 2 or 3 neighbors.

    The people I feel sorry for now are the ones I know that work, here in south central Kentucky, in the small towns, mostly low wage jobs ... and are commuting. There really isn't much opportunity to car pool ... there is no alternative transport ... most of these jobs are not high paying jobs and many of these people only have one vehicle ... a pickup, because they are also farming, which is hard on gas ... but they certainly can't afford to buy a second vehicle either and they can't do the farm work with a compact car.

    I've seen a lot of "borderline poverty" here in rural Kentucky since I've moved here and I suspect this is going to be enough to tip quite a few familes from "borderline" into having to make choices about what necessities they can buy ... not just what non-essentials have to go.
     
  12. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Look at how our cities and towns are built. Especially those west of the Mississippi. No neighborhood shopping centers. No local markets of any k ind. All shopping, groceries, etc. occurr on the edges of the community, or on major highways. Entire towns are built around automobiles--and on the ability to drive.

    Our little community of 5000 doesn't have a downtown anymore. To get groceries, you have to drive out to the interstate. No sidewalks. Busy streets. So far out, that one couldn't carry groceries home. It's probably a good 3 mile walk there for most folks who live here in town. So, maybe they do start walking. But, they'll either walk in the ditches, or in the street. In the summer, how to get cold groceries home without them melting or spoiling. What about the elderly?

    Yes, some, most can carpool. But, my point is whole communities are built around the automobile. That is a real problem. I've thought about a horse and buggy. No buggies around here. Horses, yes, but few are trained to pull. Heck, most aren't built to pull. And, where will I keep my horse while I'm on campus all day? No stables.

    It's going to get rough.
     
  13. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I can't see this happening in cities, they just aren't set up for the horse and buggy days.

    I'm dating myself, of course ... but I actually do remember much more being accomplished with horses. I still remember a neighbor in the small town where I lived until I was 5 years old getting her winter's supply of coal delivered with a team and wagon.

    My mother's first job when she got out of college was teaching in a small, rural, one-room school ... she lived at the ranch with her parents and rode horseback 3 miles to get to work. Several of the children rode to school and there was a shed where the horses were kept during the day.

    When I went to school (same area) two of the kids rode to school and there was a shed for the horses still. There was a bus that picked up some kids that lived along the county road ... I was very annoyed because I wasn't one of the ones that got to ride to school!

    We did part of the ranch work with a team until I was a pre-teen. And of course we have several communities of Amish locally ... some still do everything with horse power ... some have combined horsepower and vehicles.

    But from a practical standpoint, horsepower isn't an option for most people now.
     
  14. mama2littleman

    mama2littleman El Paso

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    Interesting discussion. My major point is that this country is not set up to allow for alternative means of transportation, and this may be something that is coming to bite us on the rear right about now.


    Nikki
     
  15. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    A diesel vehicle can run on biodiesel with no modifications - you can brew your own biodiesel from waste vegetable oil from restaurants if you are inclined to deal with some nasty chemicals.

    Or you can pay once to have your diesel vehicle converted to run on SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil). Again, waste vegetable oil from restaurant fryers.

    I plan to convert my diesel truck in the spring - I live in Northern Alberta so I need a pretty gussied up system to do it (heat is the trick - you gotta warm the oil so it can be combusted by the engine - you still need some diesel, but you start up on diesel, warm things up, then switch over). It'll cost me about 1500-2000 CDN to get a professional to do the conversion for me, and I do have to make a trip to BC (Oh darn, a trip to BC in the spring ... <sigh> ;))

    Anyway, this is the best option for me - I drive 100 km each way to work and home again, so I figure in about 50 tanks of fuel I'll have gotten my investment back.

    If you are looking for a good diesel vehicle, you can import some pretty cool ones from Japan that are in good shape (mine's a Right Hand Drive Toyota Hilux, 1989, from Japan, a little pickup truck). I chose to import cause they don't sell *little* diesel trucks here - I need a truck (why will be obvious to any of you country homesteaders, especially if you live where there is snow!) but not a big thing that can tow a trailer and two boats. :) So, I got this. Love it. Already saves me lots on fuel as diesel is cheaper here than regular gas, by about 10 cents a litre. Next year, I'm gonna run on french fry grease.

    http://www.plantdrive.com/

    Check it out!
     
  16. MarkNH

    MarkNH Well-Known Member

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    The Lifestyle in which we live in the country but drive a distance for work into suburbs or city is what's going to be the most impacted.

    If you live in the country and are able to make your living in the country then you are safer.

    From some readings, I thought this country used to have a rural infrastructure. Far from perfect but at least in the north east you could take a train into the most surprising rural places. Bus Service, from here I would have to go at least 25 miles before getting to anything like it.
     
  17. Countrystyle

    Countrystyle Well-Known Member

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    I have a question concerning the waste vegetable oil from restaurants. Years ago I worked in several different restaurants and they always sold their used oil from the deep fryers to a company that came weekly and picked it up. They didn't just give it away. Does anyone have an idea on an average price they sell the oil for?
     
  18. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    Around here, restaurants have to PAY to have the company come pick up their waste oil.

    So, if you show up and say "hi, I run my truck on WVO and I'll come haul away 55 gallons of your leftover crud, no charge to you, once a month" they generally are quite happy to give it to you (once they decide you're not some total lunatic, that is.).

    The companies that pick up the waste oil do clean it up and resell it for other uses, but they charge the restaurants for the bin out back and for collecting it and taking it away.

    Dunno how it is elsewhere, from what I've read on biodiesel forums etc I think it is similar throughout most of the US and Canada.
     
  19. travis91

    travis91 Formerly 4animals.

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  20. lonewolf

    lonewolf Well-Known Member

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    Already this weekend there is a sharp decrease in the number of tourists in the area. Second, the level of traffic pre-holiday has been clearly lower than it has been. It seems that each time the gas goes up, the amount of traffic goes down.

    There isn't much of a choice when it comes to transportation here. I could use a horse, but I wouldn't be able to cover meetings in the local communities easily for my job and where would I keep the horse when I'm doing my job? Not to mention how do I ride a horse when the right of way doesn't always allow easy riding?

    There aren't many options out there under the current circumstances. However, if fuel costs keep going up we might see some changes.