Would You Trade Your Car for a Lifetime Pass on Public Transit?


Getting people on public transit has always been a hassle, but Murcia, Spain is taking a different approach. In return for trading in their car, citizens received a lifetime of free access to Murcia’s new public transit system.

The program ran through June, during which the city put on display cars parked atop each other to demonstrate how congested and difficult parking is in the city. The irony being that these show pieces are taking up much-needed parking spots. I can’t find any stats on how many people participated in the program, but Murcia seems to have considered the program a success. I know for certain that I’d love to have more public transit options…though I’m not sure I’d trade my car for a lifetime pass unless I had plans for staying in the same city for the rest of my life. Or if my car was a piece of crap and only worth a few hundred bucks.

I know that in many areas, congestion has reached a turning point, and people are getting rid of cars because they can’t afford the time and money they cost. So tell me, would you trade your car for a lifetime pass to public transit, if the option (and transit) were available to you?

Source: Shareable via Majorentranvia

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he’s running, because he’s one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • I live in a town with bus service, and if my need to travel did not extend more than a few miles from home, then sure, I’d consider doing without a car. Actually, no, I wouldn’t. Anything not in the immediate area, say 15-20 miles away, would require a cab ride. (That’s a several times a week thing for me, and it would add up FAST.) A majority of my weekends are spent at places a 2 hour drive away (reachable by $44 round trip bus), a 1:45 drive away (reachable by a bus trip that takes twice as long, costs $58 round trip, and doesn’t allow me to stop at places I like to stop at on the way), and one weekend a month for military duty 3.5 hours away by car at a location which is for practical purposes unreachable by public means. (I *could* shell out $130 or so *and* get back home at 11:30 Sunday night instead of around dinner time by car, but that ain’t happening.)

    So I guess that puts me in the “no” camp. In my paid-for 32 mpg car, the economics make no sense at all. Plus my time and ability to, well, go places I want to go are too valuable to me.

  • hell yeah! i actually gave up my car 7 years ago & have never looked back. love living without one. & would like to get a lifetime transit pass for that 😀

  • I wouldn’t trade my car for public transport. I remember times before I owned a car and had no other option but travel by bus, what a nightmare it was!!

    Sometimes used to wait an hour for a bus, in the rain snow and cold!! Quite often the bus was so full it never used to stop. Bad times!!

    And I have a family of 5, so a weekly shop would be a nightmare using public transport.

    Big no no for me!!

  • “Getting people on public transit has always been a hassle…”

    There’s a clue there.

  • Jim

    NO. No. Hell no.

    And I’ll never live in a city or these stupid mixed use communities either. Take them both and smoke them.

  • Ben

    I would happily trade a lifetime pass on Public Transit for a car.

  • Of course not, for one thing you are talking about Spain here. A country that already is going bankrupt so depending on constantly striking transit workers is stupid.

    Besides that transit is for lemmings.

    • I hadn’t even considered the strike factor. That’s also something I am not willing to do, place my ability to get where I need to go in the hands of the public employee unions.

  • I have a two word answer. The second word is “no”. You can choose any curse you want for the first word.

  • No.

  • To quote someone who’s name escapes me, “public transportation is what I want the guy in fron of me to be riding when I’m stuck in traffic.” So I guess no is my answer.

  • WMD

    Don’t have a car but given a choice between a car and a lifetime pass for public transport…And speaking as somebody who regularly uses public tranport.

    Give me the car it’s far more flexible as far as destinations and capabilities are concerned. Public transport is far too unreliable and

  • Yes, if the following criteria were met…

    1) My car wasn’t worth more than US$2,000.

    2) I was allowed to go out and buy another car.

  • Short answer, no.

    Slightly longer answer, not having a car/truck puts you at the mercy of the bus schedule. It also makes it hard to get anywhere that’s not near a bus stop or that doesn’t have service. And forget shopping or a afternoon in the mountains or by the ocean.

    Cars are freedom.

    • Exactly. cars = freedom. I lived in Philly for 1 year and DC for 3 years relying on public transportation, and it was horrible. It took forever to get anywhere, it only stopped at certain places, and it was full of obnoxious people. I moved back to a rural area, and haven’t looked back since. With a car, you can go where you want, when you want, and don’t have to deal with other people.

  • i used to ride public transit in los angeles when i was poor. no, i wouldn’t trade anything for a lifetime of public transit because i don’t like rubbing shoulders with people who smell like cheese.

  • Nope. It would dramatically increase travel time and be hugely inconvenient. I do have friends who do not have personal cars who swear by it…in between pleas for me to take them places, never offering to chip in for gas, of course.

  • Mark Edwards last line sums up exactly why our political class want us to be tied to public transportation.

  • Those who would swap their cars appear not to own them.

    • Those who would swap a car appear to own several of them, rather.

  • Public transportation?!?!

    Scum of the earth ride public transportation!! Who the hell wants to share air that?!?!

    • A million years ago when I was in college and the earth was still cooling, my car was in the shop for an extended period. I was in S. FL and tried public transit. That lasted a week before the schedule or non-running bus caused me to miss an early class. I walked the 4.5 miles each way. I was in a better mood AND lost a few pounds

  • Mannie

    Let me run out and buy a $200 beater. Then I can trade that for a lifetime transit pass. Cool!

  • JEM

    Oh sure, I’ll happily sacrifice personal mobility, the ability to get where I want when I want with the things and people I want to take there in a reasonable period of time (and maybe have some fun along the way) to become a unit of mass occasionally to be moved in bovine conditions at the whim of some money-bleeding government bureaucracy.

  • jim

    hell no.

  • I’ll go where I decide to go, not where Nanny decides I should go, if it’s all the same, thanks.

  • I ride the bus to work sometimes.

    But my car allows me to experience many things in life, that I couldn’t otherwise. I suppose a committed urbanite whose life consists entirely of eating out, going to bars, and going to work, might not care about a car. That’s not me, by a long shot.

  • No. How would I get to somewhere out of town where the bus doesn’t go, or after it stops running?

  • Public transport is only practical where citizens are permitted to conceal=carry guns for their self defense.

    Otherwise criminals will use predictable movements to select those with nice looks or nice clothes for their attentions. Some criminals would pay cab drivers to find and drop off victims at convienient locations.

    Recently a bus in India was robbed by a gang of about 40 criminals. Fortunately, there was one retired Gurkha on the bus who fought off all 40 of the gang members.

    We need more Gurkhas, or virtual Gurkhas.

  • Some questions just don’t need to be asked.

    • Let me get this straight – trade my car with leather seats, a cd player, an ipod jack, air conditioning, that goes wherever I tell it to whenever I tell it to…

      a bus reeking of urine filled with homeless people & garbage, covered in graffiti, running 20 minutes late, travelinf at 4 mile per hour, driven by a nasty government employee, that drops me 5 blocks from where I want to be.

      Tough choice.

  • hmi

    Hell yes. I’ve lived in NYC, Boston, Chicago and Orange County CA (and kept a car in all three). The only place I’d never live again is, you guessed it, Orange County—where you need to get in the damn car car in order to use the john. Never again will I live anywhere without decent public transit. Give me the lifetime transit pass, I’ll give you my car, and I’ll sign on with ZipCar for the rest.

  • Not at my age. Public transportation requires a lot of walking and I don’t know how much longer my knees are going to last. Automobiles are necessary for a lot of older people and handicapped people. The anti-automobile crowd never seems to think about us.

  • Nope. Public transit doesn’t go where I need to go when I need to go there. I can’t haul the things I need hauled from point A to point B. I can’t tow a boat or a trailer with a transit pass. I can’t haul landscaping timbers or mulch with a transit pass. I can’t haul the groceries with a transit pass. There’s any number of things that a transit pass won’t do. Nope. I need a truck, and I have a truck. And they’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

  • Are you putting me on? I wouldn’t even trade *Obama* for “a lifetime pass,” etc.

  • How bout I trade your car for my lifetime pass? Seems like a good deal to me. Anybody who could ask this question needs to not be sharing my road.

  • never would I make that deal. you can’t move your furniture on a bus or bring home 20 bags of mulch for the yard or lumber for home improvements.

    beyond that the program is just taking money from some to subsidize people for making a choice they probably would have made anyway — if you weren’t already on the edge this wouldn’t sway you, so you’re getting a free ride — literally.

    On a broad economic scale you’d also be limiting mobility so you end up wit urban corridors and wasted real estate outside those corridors if this plan is “successful”. It also puts you at the mercy of corrupt, pseudo-governmental mafia, er, I mean “unions” — the cost will skyrocket if they ever get enough of the population dependent on the transportation.

  • In short, no. I live in a major city with pretty good public transportation that I use regularly. But my father lives 180 miles away some place I couldn’t get to via public transportation. I have suburban friends whose homes I could not reach by public transportation. Getting to the airport takes 90 minutes via public transportation and 20-40 by car.

    Sure, I could rent a car to visit my dad or my friends, but that is expensive and pretty much kills the concept of spur of the moment visits.

    When we have reliable worldwide matter transport systems so I can beam to a local station, let me know and I will give up my car then.

  • Here’s a question for you: Would you give up your house’s or apartment’s private bathroom for a lifetime pass to any and all public restrooms?

  • Not for a second, I’m assuming you have been drinking to have come up with such a stupid question. Have you ever even been on a city bus? A city bus makes Greyhound look good. Stop drinking and grow up Chris.

    • @ D. Oz

      Did you read the article? I assume not. Otherwise you wouldn’t make insulting assertions like this.

      Trust me, you’ll know a drunk post from me when you read it. This ain’t one of them.

  • My driveway is 900 feet long and ends on a dead-end street that probably sees five cars a day. Sending buses here would be a complete waste of time and money for all concerned. My “farm” is on a gravel road two miles off the “main road”-HAH-and you have to cross three creek-beds to get to it.In winter you REALLY need four wheel drive and had better have an ax or a chain-saw with you in case a tree has fallen across the road.

    For me this question is ridiculous as well as instinctively totalitarian.

  • Then do they have the car police find out if you got a new one?

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