For The Record!!! I haven’t lost my mind but I have lost my car; on purpose! It’s no secret that Jackie and I have made a semi-radical shifts by moving into Midtown Atlanta from the suburbs of Johns Creek. Some of the unintended consequences of a downsized super urban lifestyle may pleasantly surprise you.
For example, the subject of this article, ditching my vehicle. An audacious move by most native Atlantan standards….. well at least for my suburban Atlantan friends. Atlanta is quite a car town; frankly a status symbol by which most cast some level of judgment upon you and your status in society.
For in-towners or as we say ITP (for Non-Atlantans, that means “Inside The Perimeter” which encompasses the city) not having a vehicle to maintain and pay to park is quite normal. This new Midtown lifestyle has made me want to follow suit. So, after a few weeks of experimenting, I have completely made the shift to being “car-free”. Below are some of the details about my move into this new era of a Mass-Transit/Uber combination and increased productivity.
Utilizing Mass Transit in Atlanta means using MARTA , our light rail system that operates within the Metro Area. A train station conveniently located just behind our building means being able to hop on a train and avoid traffic all the way to the perimeter of the city or slightly beyond. From there, I simply request an Uber or Lyft service to carry me through the remainder of my journeys. Have you tried Uber? Give it a try for Free by using my Invite Code: n9sns
This combination allows someone else to do the driving and navigating while I safely return calls, e-mails, texts, social media messages and more. Not to mention the absolutely freeing feeling of being unencumbered.
Allowing someone else to drive has literally doubled my productivity!
Utilizing the travel time to enhance the service to our Drive Planning Members or Team Members is extremely valuable. Likely an hour or more is gained each day on the days that I travel to our offices located in Sandy Springs or Johns Creek; both in the northern parts of Atlanta. These tasks being completed during travel time allows me new freedom at the end of each day in not having to do them once I’ve arrived at home.
Living in town has presented itself with some additional expenses that OTP (Outside The Perimeter) friends do not have to endure. One small cost is simply Parking your vehicle. In my case, that meant $50 per month at home plus each time you go somewhere.
In addition, there is the actual cost of ownership of a vehicle. Fortunately, I did not have a car note/payment, but there are still gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs that are always present. For me…. Not anymore.
Road Rage or any kind of rage quite frankly has never been my thing. I tend to operate at a pretty stress free level. Personally, I know who my creator is and that he loves me, I have a great wife and family and generally feel grateful for most things. Therefore, I wasn’t a stressful driver. Moving into Midtown and opening an office here meant that I didn’t drive near as much anymore (only a couple days per week) but when I did it was usually a time where I still wanted to be productive. You can read about my drive time in a recent article, Making the Most of Traffic. Even with my stress free nature and making the most of the time it has felt good to turn the driving over to someone else.
I will conclude by saying, I will miss the occasional rush of accelerating through a wide open winding road along with the great suspension and handling of my Infiniti G35x! The lifestyle of walking to my new Drive Planning – Midtown office, increased pace and productivity has improved me as a person. So, for now I’ll stick with this new “car-free” commuter role until it’s time for another change. Thankfully, I’ve learned that personal growth is almost always accompanied by change. We certainly always need personal growth so bring on the change!
What are your thoughts? Could you go “car-free”? Connect with me for a conversation on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn.