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Old 08-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #21
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I got my license when I was 16. Driver's ed. was part of the school ciriculum. Everyone that i'm aware of got their license at 16. I used my life savings to buy a $1500 10 year old Corolla. Then I got a job and paid all expenses myself including $150/mo for liability only(crazy!). I live in a small town where everyone drives. Public transit exists but is rarely used and walking is very difficult most of the year in the upper midwest. I don't put on a lot of miles but I think i'll have a car until I die or go to a "home".
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #22
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1959 - totally different era. Rock and roll, cruising the drive-in's, drag racing stoplight to stoplight, keg parties in the countryside, as mentioned mobile bedroom ,etc.



When back in the old stomping grounds(50th High School reunion) I wasn't the only one who cruised Capt'n Yoby's for fish and chips - third location change since the 1950's but still going strong.

At 69 the emotional bond is still there - transending any spreadsheet numbers or 'Heaven Forbid' - practicality.

Heh heh heh - Just may have one more sports car/rat rod/muscle car in these bones before I park the car keys.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:06 PM   #23
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My wife and I just had a discussion the other day about the driving thing. At this stage in her life she can't see well enough to drive at night and never drives if I am available. As we are in our mid 70's, we often discuss the future; what will one do in the absence of the other, sell or keep the house, what are the options for our lifestyles, etc. One big thing that keeps coming up in the discussions is transportation. We have both agreed that we wouldn't move out of the community because we both have the need to get out and mix with people, go to the grocery, a restaurant, the doctor, church, etc.

Our means of transportation will be the golf cart. Just sold our old one and getting a newer one next Saturday. We are excited. The old one was your run-of-the-mill golf cart that was typically used on golf courses. Plain Jane, sturdy, slow but functional. The one we purchased has side curtains in case of rain, lights and is faster. Most of the carts in the city are capablle of 19 mph but some are souped up to even go faster. Some have totally enclcosed plastic bodies while others are mockups of 57 Chevy's, 32 Ford Model A roadsters, Caddy's, Mercedes, BMW's, etc. Some cost up to $10k. The one we bought is a 2003 EZGO for $1000.

Sorry for going on so long but there are solutions out there to the transportation problem. Of coure you have to find a city that allows the carts and is designed to accommodate them. There is a lot of info online. Maybe the best known city in Florida with golf carts is The Villiages. So, don't despair. There are solutions to this problem. Seek and you shall find.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #24
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Not an expert, but I will share what I know.

I thought small mopeds or scooters with an engine under 50cc still require a driver's license, and these vehicles still have to be titled and registered. What they do not require is a motorcyclist license. The presumption is that they do not require special motorcycle riding skills, and any legal car driver would already know the rules of the road to ride safely. These have a headlight, brake light, turn signals, and a horn.

And then, there's a new class of "power assisted" bicycles. Think electric bikes, or bikes with an added-on little gas engine with a friction wheel to drive the bike tire. I think these are the ones that are classified as bicycles, and require no license nor title.

The problem is there is a big overlap, and the division line can get blurred.

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There has been an increase locally in moped accidents. Apparently more youngish people are unable or uninterested in getting a license to drive a car, and instead opting to go unlicensed and get a moped or scooter. I think anything 50cc and under doesn't require a license. Adding up the costs of an auto, license, insurance, taxes, etc and it takes up a big part of a minimum wage earner's salary. Bus service locally isn't great but isn't non-existent.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #25
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Badly needed a car for jobs between 16-24. The locations were all over the place, and they were with a dozen different companies, most places in the US are not public transportation friendly at all, and this was definitely one of those.

Then 25-30, there was no need for a car at all, job search then moved to heavy metro area, I would have dropped the driver's license if not for being forced to re-take the driver's test again if I want to drive again.

At 30-~55, I'll definitely need a car again, because I will not need to be in a metro area, the extra cost for the amenities would be useless to me at that point.

55+, I'll not really need one again, I'll move to a retiree area that at least has the option to deliver groceries for you, either in a special 55+ community or a heavy metro area, and I'll also try to find a place that is golf-cart friendly. My tax situation will also be quite different because states actually try to go out of their way to offer incentives to seniors, rather than doing it mostly by accident in the case of very early retirees/teleworkers. I'll have very different needs when I transition from early retirement to senior retirement.

Interestingly, in 2008-2010 I believe, as part of the stimulus, there was a $5000 one-time federal credit for getting a road ready golf cart, one that basically had to have lights and side-view mirrors, quite a useful credit for seniors at the time. It was a bit of an obscure and interesting tax credit, I found it while doing a retirement tax term paper in law school, in its way, it was better than the first-time home buyers tax credit, as it was much less restrictive.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #26
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plex, I heard of this tax credit also and wish I would have know more about it at the time. John Stossel of the Fox News Network got a free golf cart through this credit. He had a show on it one night to indicate what a
joke this credit was. That's politics for you.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:49 PM   #27
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Wow. I bought my first car for $400 (a 1964 Ford Fairlane 500) when I was 15. It sat in the driveway until I passed my drivers license test on my 16th birthday.

I lost my virginity in my car. I put 200 miles a day on my car. I worked to put gas in and pay the insurance on my car. I washed and waxed my car once a week. I listened to my first Queen, Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin songs in my car.

How times have certainly changed.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #28
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I'm surprised the article didn't mention the environmental angle. I know a lot of younger folks who dislike cars not just for the expense, but also for the environmental impact.

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Old 08-12-2012, 05:36 PM   #29
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I'm surprised the article didn't mention the environmental angle. I know a lot of younger folks who dislike cars not just for the expense, but also for the environmental impact.

SIS
Don't get me started on the environmental impact. These same younger
folks probably use other modes of transportation that require the burning of fossil fuels.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:30 PM   #30
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Don't get me started on the environmental impact. These same younger
folks probably use other modes of transportation that require the burning of fossil fuels.
Ok. I'll try not to get you started. (smile)
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:41 PM   #31
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I live in a "gotta have a car" town. I got my license at 15, and got my first car, a full size Chevy Blazer, the same day. Even now we have two trucks, two cars, a tractor, a mini-bike, and an RV in the yard. Fossil fuels-r-us! I guess one day we could live somewhere we could get by on public transport, but not in our town.
I had to laugh at the "mobile bedroom" commentary- that old blazer had a might big back seat! Not that I'd know, but my brother drove it before me!
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #32
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I live in a city where cars are completely unnecessary - public transport is excellent and cheap and the distances are relatively short. Not having owned a car for the last 20 years has saved us a huge amount of money - cars cost a lot more out here due to a combination of taxes, petrol prices and parking costs. There is also the convenience factor - it's one less thing to look after and maintain.

Quite frankly, given the congestion and pollution on Hong Kong's roads, I'd like to see private cars treated the same way as smoking - taxed to death as a matter of policy.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:06 AM   #33
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I lost my virginity in my car.
I happily gave mine away in my first car, and I have no desire to go looking for it or to ask for its return!

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I listened to my first Queen, Nazareth, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin songs in my car.
How times have certainly changed.
Our cars sure have changed over the years, but not so much my tastes in music...
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #34
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I thought small mopeds or scooters with an engine under 50cc still require a driver's license, and these vehicles still have to be titled and registered. What they do not require is a motorcyclist license. The presumption is that they do not require special motorcycle riding skills, and any legal car driver would already know the rules of the road to ride safely. These have a headlight, brake light, turn signals, and a horn.
Maybe it varies by jurisdiction. This guy I knew kept getting DUIs and lost his license. That is when he became a moped rider. Gas engine of some sort... max speed 35 mph IIRC
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:38 AM   #35
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While it is possible to live a mostly regular life without a car in some places in the USA, getting a license is really necessary for many careers and convenience in life in certain situations.

I was an engineer but my career would have been impacted if I couldn't drive as I traveled a lot. I was well spoken and my career was really enhanced by the ability to face customers but without a license it would not have been as practical.

Also, it is a practical requirement for properly enjoying some vacations.

Now that I live overseas, I own a motorbike and my life would be negatively impacted without the ability to do that. Even though I don't drive nearly as much as when I was in the USA. If I was in the USA again, I would definitely consider a scooter instead of a car.

That being said, one of my most important factors for any neighborhood is its walkability. One of my favorite sites when I was looking for neighborhoods in the USA was: Get Your Walk Score - Find Walkable Apartments and Rentals
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:37 AM   #36
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One of the main drivers (pun) in getting a car when we were kids was to socialize...go out and find your friends. Today, they just sit in their room texting/facebooking.

My nephew: "why go outside? its nice and air conditioned here and I can sit by the pool and talk to my friends all day (via text)"

The other observation is that many kids today are petrified behind the wheel. When we were kids we were crazy...today they view driving as a dangerous activity...it is of course, but they just seem a whole lot more terrified when driving than I ever was.

IMHO
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #37
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Timely info for you non-car public transportation users: Study details how to avoid the weirdo on the bus

One handy tip...

Quote:
...sit next to an old woman. "Old women rarely stink," he says. "Old women are rarely crazy."
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:20 PM   #38
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Timely info for you non-car public transportation users: Study details how to avoid the weirdo on the bus

One handy tip...
Sit next to an old woman, even though empty seats are available since old women are rarely crazy, huh?

Then I guess YOU are the crazy one, since the article also states,

Quote:
the researcher also noted big commuting no-nos, such as sitting next to someone when other seats are available, which one passenger said immediately branded you as "weird."
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #39
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Then I guess YOU are the crazy one, since the article also states,
Quote:
the researcher also noted big commuting no-nos, such as sitting next to someone when other seats are available, which one passenger said immediately branded you as "weird."
Anyone who has ever been in a men's room urinal know this is an unwritten rule. Heck, it's probably actually written somewhere...
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #40
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Then I guess YOU are the crazy one
GMTA. When riders begin sitting next to other passengers and not you, that might be a sign who looks the craziest.

My DD commuted her final year of high school. Rush hour both ways. It was tough for her. In the beginning she complained of the fellow passengers, mostly men, sitting too close, getting weird. Then she stopped complaining. Toward the end of the year we traveled together one day and I saw why - when she sat down in an empty bench seat she transformed and looked seriously mean. Nobody would sit next to her. But when a woman in a suit walked in she straightened up, smiled and got her seat mate.
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