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HOW do you survive without a car?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

HOW do you survive without a car?

Old 05-12-16, 10:30 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Congratulations. You, in your infinite wisdom, just proved the longstanding theory that people believe what they want to believe.
My, what a rude comment! What is it that I "want to believe"--that I like public transport?
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Old 05-12-16, 11:39 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
My, what a rude comment! What is it that I "want to believe"--that I like public transport?
Oh, my comment was rude??! You're the one who made an assumption about what my reply to your question might have meant. Your words, not mine:

Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
So, are you saying there are buses but you wouldn't ride on them? Besides the one that was being driven erratically, I wouldn't look down my nose at those buses or the people that use them.
No one was looking down their nose at anyone; the sole purpose of my posting of those pictures of the buses is to show that as long as a safer, cleaner, more expedient means of transport (such as, say, a privately owned vehicle,) is available, there's no need for anyone to ride in a 30-year-old bus with no air conditioning in 40-degree+ heat, especially on the way to a business meeting wearing some nice clothes. Otherwise, riding in any of those buses isn't much different from riding my bicycle in the same conditions. So, if we all refrained from making assumptions about people we didn't know and never met, the world would probably be a much better place.
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Old 05-13-16, 12:42 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Oh, my comment was rude??! You're the one who made an assumption about what my reply to your question might have meant. Your words, not mine:



No one was looking down their nose at anyone; the sole purpose of my posting of those pictures of the buses is to show that as long as a safer, cleaner, more expedient means of transport (such as, say, a privately owned vehicle,) is available, there's no need for anyone to ride in a 30-year-old bus with no air conditioning in 40-degree+ heat, especially on the way to a business meeting wearing some nice clothes. Otherwise, riding in any of those buses isn't much different from riding my bicycle in the same conditions. So, if we all refrained from making assumptions about people we didn't know and never met, the world would probably be a much better place.
When phototographs are posted without any explanation, assumptions will be made, so it's almost always better to accompany them with words so as to avoid misunderstanding. How were forum members to know, for example, that those pictures were taken when temperatures were over 40 or that you are a businessman who wears formal attire?
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Old 05-13-16, 12:48 AM
  #29  
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*photographs

What's up with the "Edit Post" function? When I click on it, I get a blank post with nothing to edit. Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 05-13-16, 01:17 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
*photographs

What's up with the "Edit Post" function? When I click on it, I get a blank post with nothing to edit. Has anyone else had this problem?
Yes, I've been unable to edit some of my posts, yet with others I've had no problem.
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Old 05-13-16, 01:23 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
When phototographs are posted without any explanation, assumptions will be made, so it's almost always better to accompany them with words so as to avoid misunderstanding. How were forum members to know, for example, that those pictures were taken when temperatures were over 40 or that you are a businessman who wears formal attire?
1. One would think that a glance to the left folloed by a simple Google/wikipedia search would have been more than adequate.
2. BS. People make assumptions only because they want to, either because they are too lazy to stop and think a little or because it just happens to be more convenient in any given situation, kind of like George Clooney's character in Up in the Air : "I'm like mym mother. I stereotype. It's faster."
3. How did "on the way to a business meeting wearing nice clothes" become exactly the same as "you are a businessman who wears formal attire??!" Dude, seriously, lay off the assumptions already! Sheesh!
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Old 05-13-16, 01:29 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
One would think that a glance to the left folloed by a simple Google/wikipedia search would have been more than adequate.
To find out what the dates were and the weather conditions when those photos were taken? To learn about what kind of clothes you wear to work and your motivations for not riding the bus?
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Old 05-13-16, 01:35 AM
  #33  
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Okay! You're hopelessly funny and this just got old. Ciao!
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Old 05-13-16, 01:47 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Okay! You're hopelessly funny and this just got old. Ciao!

وداعا
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Old 05-13-16, 08:20 AM
  #35  
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MOD NOTE: Let's get this conversation back on topic and drop the tangents, please.
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Old 05-13-16, 08:23 AM
  #36  
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With pleasure. Sorry about that.
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Old 05-13-16, 08:36 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Having abandoned 9-5 to become a freelancer last year, I do the vast majority of my work (translation and copy writing/editing) at home, so I haven't really needed to use my car all that much. Just recently, I mustered the courage to ride further and into thicker traffic, which encouraged me to be even less car-dependent.



Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
That said, however, there's no realistic way one can go entirely car-less in a place like Jeddah. Just yesterday, I had to go to a business meeting at King Abdulaziz University, which is about 30 kilometers from where I live. Given the roads, traffic, and the way people drive around here, it's just way too dangerous, time-consuming, and nerve-racking for me to cycle my way there and back.
Yeah ... there are some places and situations where it is just not practical to cycle.

Even where I live now, I keep thinking I'd like to cycle to and from work, but haven't quite got up the nerve to take the time to tackle the terrain and traffic.
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Old 05-13-16, 09:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
3. How did "on the way to a business meeting wearing nice clothes" become exactly the same as "you are a businessman who wears formal attire??!" Dude, seriously, lay off the assumptions already! Sheesh!
You're coming across as extremely touchy. It was not obvious to me what you meant by the bus photos, but, like Ekdog, I got the impression that you were implying something negative about them and the heat is not evident in the pictures. And there is very little difference (and nothing offensive) between what you said about your attire and how he understood it.
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Old 05-13-16, 10:42 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
You're coming across as extremely touchy. It was not obvious to me what you meant by the bus photos, but, like Ekdog, I got the impression that you were implying something negative about them and the heat is not evident in the pictures. And there is very little difference (and nothing offensive) between what you said about your attire and how he understood it.
You're probably right. I thought that the pictures would speak a thousand words, but apparently they were the wrong words. The idea I was trying to bring across is that with these buses, combined with the heat and road conditions, it would be nearly impossible to get around and stay fresh and presentable. The decades-old problem with this country is that there never has been a proper, publicly funded, city-managed "public" transport system in the true sense of the word (i.e. as understood in the Western world.)

There were more than one attempt by Saptco and others to set up an urban system a few years back, but they just couldn't get it done right the first time; they just couldn't compete with the privately owned buses. The drivers of those buses charge passengers less than half what big-ticket corporations like Saptco would charge (why pay five riyals to get somewhere when you could pay two?)

The government has been trying for years to eliminate them, but there was no legal way to put them out of business (and they would just up and complain to the king or the region's prince every time the municipality or the traffic department fires a salvo.) The only move the government could make is to prevent them from replacing their old buses with new ones, so that's they they kept running those decades-old Toyota Coasters.

So, all of these factors, plus the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of low-wage foreign workers who depend on these buses to get around, the the fact that gas is comparatively cheap, and most everyone as their dog own cars, it's kind of hard to set up a public transport system and get enough people to use it to make it economically feasible for the city and the operators. They're building a subway system in Riyadh now, but whether or not it would be popular enough to cover its costs is anybody's guess at this point.
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Old 05-13-16, 02:21 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
You're probably right. I thought that the pictures would speak a thousand words, but apparently they were the wrong words. The idea I was trying to bring across is that with these buses, combined with the heat and road conditions, it would be nearly impossible to get around and stay fresh and presentable. The decades-old problem with this country is that there never has been a proper, publicly funded, city-managed "public" transport system in the true sense of the word (i.e. as understood in the Western world.)

There were more than one attempt by Saptco and others to set up an urban system a few years back, but they just couldn't get it done right the first time; they just couldn't compete with the privately owned buses. The drivers of those buses charge passengers less than half what big-ticket corporations like Saptco would charge (why pay five riyals to get somewhere when you could pay two?)

The government has been trying for years to eliminate them, but there was no legal way to put them out of business (and they would just up and complain to the king or the region's prince every time the municipality or the traffic department fires a salvo.) The only move the government could make is to prevent them from replacing their old buses with new ones, so that's they they kept running those decades-old Toyota Coasters.

So, all of these factors, plus the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of low-wage foreign workers who depend on these buses to get around, the the fact that gas is comparatively cheap, and most everyone as their dog own cars, it's kind of hard to set up a public transport system and get enough people to use it to make it economically feasible for the city and the operators. They're building a subway system in Riyadh now, but whether or not it would be popular enough to cover its costs is anybody's guess at this point.
Sorry about the misunderstanding. I'm glad you've decided to stick around because I find the idea of living car-free or even car-light in a country like Saudi Arabia fascinating.

I was wondering: how often do you sees Saudis cycling there in Jeddah? I'd assume that they are few and far between and that most of them are roadies. The few transportation cyclists that brave the heat and the traffic, from what I can gather, are mostly European and American expats. Is that true? Do any of the poor migrant workers from India, the Philippines and elsewhere choose the bicycle over those hot, overcrowded buses?
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Old 05-13-16, 03:32 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
You're probably right. I thought that the pictures would speak a thousand words, but apparently they were the wrong words.
Don't worry. The pictures that you posted did speak a 1000 words and I understood and I am sure that many others understood...I wouldn't ride one of those junky mini buses even if somebody paid my bus fare...Do these things even have working brakes ??...Are people who drive them even licensed ??...Are they safetied and E-tested and roadworthy ??
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Old 05-13-16, 04:38 PM
  #42  
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See, it's all about what you want to see in the pictures.
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Old 05-13-16, 04:55 PM
  #43  
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Oh, they're licensed alright. And any of those buses will pass the emussions test and be deemed roadworthy within an inch of the outer limits of regulations - on the day of the Traffic Department's inspection. But think about it - the youngest of these buses has been running around since the 1980s, and the number of times their drum brakes get actuated per day must run into the thousands; hell, these things get their brake shoes replaced on a monthly basis, or perhaps even more frequently than that - and I'm not talking about 100-percent genuine OEM Toyota replacement parts here, but anything the can bolt in there that's even a buck cheaper. These guys think nothing of screeching to halt in the left lane to pick up a passenger from the oppposite sidewalk foe the two-riyal fare, so "safety" (their general definition of which is not being dead) tends to not rank high on their list. Because what's an arm or a leg between friends? It's all in God's hands, anyway!

Most Saudis who cycle do it for fitness and recreation. In fact it was my Saudi brother-in-law who pestered me into getting back into the sport after all these years (he lost 45 pounds in a year.) Now he's bugging me about joining the growing and bustling Jeddah Cyclist community, but between my work and the way the plan their outings and activities, I just don't see that happening at this time. Thw Filipino guys who woek at the Trek dealership also ivited me moee than once to ride with ride along with them on Friday mornings, but I havent taken them up on it yet.

As for those who ride to get A to B, they mostly tend to be Asian workers who mostly eun either heavyweight, heavy-duty Phoenix/Phoenix-like juggernauts or knockoff mountain bikes, and even though those guys just ride to get between places within the neighborhood, the sprawling nature of Saudi cities mean that they cover some distances.

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Old 05-14-16, 12:50 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by RichSPK View Post
I can ride the 9 miles to work, but working 6 days a week, it's tough to keep up with bike maintenance. I usually ride to work twice a week. The rest of the time, I use a monthly bus pass to take the bus to work (buses around here also have bike racks, BTW), then get a ride home from a co-worker (the bus stops running before I get off work). I use rear racks and panniers on my bikes which are usually adequate for groceries. I usually walk to the supermarket, though, because I'm afraid my bike will get stolen. I have a Burley trailer for loads up to 100lbs. 4 30lb buckets of cat litter and a 25lb bag of cat food lead me to ask a friend for a ride to Petco and BJs roughly once a month. I could break that up into a couple trips and use the trailer, but time is in short supply.
Those are great suggestions!

For years I went with a neighbor family for trips to a warehouse store about every 3 months. I helped pay for gas, and took their kids off their hands after I finished my shopping. (I usually bought the kids a treat at the lunch counter while we were waiting for the parents to finish shopping.) I got things like toilet paper, pet supplies, and other bulky items on these trips, so I rarely had to worry about carrying these things on my bike.

It wasn't strictly "carfree". but it would be pretty expensive (and stupid) to own an entire car just to go to Sam's Club every 3 months.

I guess my point is, if you want to be less car-dependent, it helps to think creatively and not to be too rigid or too purist.
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Old 05-14-16, 12:54 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Having abandoned 9-5 to become a freelancer last year, I do the vast majority of my work (translation and copy writing/editing) at home, so I haven't really needed to use my car all that much. Just recently, I mustered the courage to ride further and into thicker traffic, which encouraged me to be even less car-dependent.

That said, however, there's no realistic way one can go entirely car-less in a place like Jeddah. Just yesterday, I had to go to a business meeting at King Abdulaziz University, which is about 30 kilometers from where I live. Given the roads, traffic, and the way people drive around here, it's just way too dangerous, time-consuming, and nerve-racking for me to cycle my way there and back.
Are you an ex-pat? If so,have you ever checked with local people about how they might get along without a car? I imagine there are some local people who don't drive....
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Old 05-14-16, 12:59 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Are you an ex-pat? If so,have you ever checked with local people about how they might get along without a car? I imagine there are some local people who don't drive....
My wife is a local. Trust me, every male I ever met who's 16 and older drives.
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Old 05-14-16, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
Congratulations. You, in your infinite wisdom, just proved the longstanding theory that people believe what they want to believe.
I don't think he meant any disrespect. And I wondered the same thing. You just posted a few pictures that left me with more questions than answers. If you have the time, I would love to learn more about the bus system there, especially if based on your actual experience rather than looking at pictures and videos that you found on the internet..

I also wondered if local people ride bikes around the city much. You said it seemed too dangerous, but people say that about every city in the world. Do you have any experience at riding in heavy car traffic anywhere else? If so, how does Jeddah compare to other cities that you've ridden in?
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Old 05-14-16, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post
My wife is a local. Trust me, every male I ever met who's 16 and older drives.
Are there some males you haven't met who don't drive? They would probably give you better info on the topic than the ones who do drive. And how do women get around? I noticed both males and femsles in the pictures you posted earlier.
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Old 05-14-16, 07:26 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I don't think he meant any disrespect. And I wondered the same thing. You just posted a few pictures that left me with more questions than answers. If you have the time, I would love to learn more about the bus system there, especially if based on your actual experience rather than looking at pictures and videos that you found on the internet..
Here let me give you a simple interpretation of those pics: Public transit sucks in most third world countries, is dangerous, uncomfortable and just a huge PITA to use. Another thing to look out for is cultural trends of the countries. I don't know about Saudi Arabia but in some countries having a car is a status symbol which will get you more respect. In many countries car-free people are considered lower class citizens.
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Old 05-14-16, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Are there some males you haven't met who don't drive? They would probably give you better info on the topic than the ones who do drive.
You mean people who slave away at minimum wage jobs and struggle to survive and pay their bills and put enough food on their table ??.
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