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We Live & Work in Michigan's second largest city boundaries, but still own two cars. Why?

Why do we own multiple vehicles if we reside in the city center and work within a 10 mile radius?

Photo of Meagen Coburn
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For myself and my husband, we continue to own two vehicles because of what seems like a challenge to drop to one vehicle. And here's why: For our lifestyle, we have a one year old child in daycare and after an impossible time finding childcare - the location we were able to get into is at College and Leonard, we both work full time (both in the city limits) and have to split baby dropoff and pickup. In addition, we have parents in the Flint area and Saugatuck. We also have a travel trailer. We live in Cherry Hill Historic District, and just like everyone says - we don't have a grocery store. Our closest is at Fulton and Carlton and if we want a full service Meijer for cost savings we are traveling to Cascade, Alpine or Knapps Corner. I have a craft hobby that sends me to 28th street weekly. My husband has band gigs around Kent County.

All of these things, at present, make it such that we maintain two vehicles to keep up with running about town. I've certainly considered the possibility of what it would mean to drop to one car. The Rapid goes up and down our main intersection near home. We walk everywhere that we can, nightly. We have bikes. We have moped scooters, even. But at the end of all of it, we've found that we just have to maintain two vehicles to be able to keep up with our lives.

I'm curious how big city residents have transitioned to a more urban lifestyle found in big cities. Being a rapidly growing mid-size city, we just haven't reached that break point yet

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Photo of Chad Gainor

Hi Meagen: checkout my submission https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/grand-rapids/propose/autonomous-shuttles

Hypothetically, if an autonomous car could take you to a bus/autonomous shuttle route (DASH West), would you try it vs using a second vehicle?

Photo of Meagen Coburn

I would love to try it. To be honest, the DASH has caught my attention with the new branding, but it doesn't move me to get on board. I have no idea where to get on or off or how it works and nobody likes the idea of being trapped on a bus without any idea where they're going. Unless I have a guide or a hands on experience forcing me to try it out, I don't imagine I'll have an incidence where I'll just get to "try" the DASH to convince me to use it moving forward, unfortunately.

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