“How are you getting there?”

A friend asked me when I mentioned I’m going out to the county council meeting this evening. The county seat is about 25 miles from where I live.

You got me thinking!
Options for getting to Deland
(Wow it actually turned into 11 choices):

  • taxi (convenient but expensive, also taxis not super available)
  • Uber (same advantages & disadvantages as taxi)
  • Pay my friend who’s a single mom who could use the cash – she drives for DoorDash etc.
    Less expensive and also I’m supporting a person I know.
  • My former regular taxi driver used to give me rides for super cheap because I hired him on a steady basis. (However he disappears suddenly, it is now in one of his disappearance phases and you never know when he’ll be back in town.) Very inexpensive for a taxi, and also I’m supporting a person I know.
  • Catch a ride out there with my friend who commutes there for work. I need to be ready early because of her schedule, but hanging out in Deland for the morning and early afternoon til it’s time for the county meeting would be fun. The meeting would probably not be over by the time she was headed home, so this would involve an overnight stay in Deland and then catch a ride home with her the next day afternoon.
  • Bicycle (2-1/2 hrs each way, boring ride; but cheap & good exercise)
  • Hitchhike (Cheap and sometimes fun but sometimes sketchy, and I mostly no longer do it, plus hitchhiking is illegal in Florida)
  • Craigslist ride wanted page (CL has gotten flaky, with a lot of people basically hiring themselves out as taxi services, so the cheap rideshare element and fun community element is gone, but sometimes once in a while one will still pop up)
  • Walk (Cheap, sometimes fun, good exercise; but very time consuming one to two days walk each way). Could turn it into a blog post or magazine article reviewing a lightweight summer tent/bivy sack or pair of walking shoes etc. Probably would not do because it’s kind of a boring walk and times being what they are, might not want to be caught out between towns overnight.
  • Votran bus (Very cheap, relatively quick because it’s an express route; Can bring bicycle and put it on the rack on the bus for faster time door to door)
  • Rent a car (expensive, and I would not do in this case unless I were combining multiple errands on this excursion)

For any of the above options, depending on the time of the engagement in Deland, a single day round-trip could be an option. But if overnight stay is required, stay with Wendy or other pal in Deland, or have a fun little staycation at a hotel in Deland.

These unusual by USA standards transportation arrangements have a way of turning a short intercity trip into a multiflavored unique adventure with lots of learning and human connection.

PS. The answer to my friend’s question today was that I’m catching a ride out there with a friend in my neigborhood who decided she wants to go out there, and texted me inviting me to go with her. I might not have tried to go otherwise, because I’ve been busy with other stuff and might not have been in the mood to ponder transportation logistics.

This list serves as an illustration that people who don’t own cars often have more transportation options at the ready than people who do own cars. When a car owner’s car breaks down, that usually induces the person to cancel their plans. They often don’t think to use alternative transportation options. Whereas a person like me, who doesn’t own a car, just makes a transportation plan from among the many available options.