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A week without a car: one person's experience commuting in Boise without driving

With gas prices on the rise, we wanted to see how necessary a car is to our way of life, and if a Boise resident can get around without driving.

BOISE, Idaho —

Gas prices keep climbing, car resale values are up, and inflation in the united states is the highest we have seen in decades. 

People are looking for ways to cut costs, but some costs can be seen as essential, like using a car as someone’s main mode of transportation.

Which got us thinking at KTVB, how necessary is a car to our way of life, and can a Boise resident, accustomed to driving, live without a car?

Sophia Coe, a 21-year-old BSU student and a daily driver, volunteered to ditch her car for a week and document her experience.

“I would say I drive every day,” Coe said. “Whether it’s three minutes to my workout or 20 minutes to Meridian. I drive a lot.” 

Coe began vlogging her experiment on May 8 and ended on May 14. 

Day 1, May 8:

“Hello, good morning. It is day one without a car. I am leaving the house in about 10 minutes to go to my workout. Normally I drive there and it takes me three minutes, but without a car, it’s 20 minutes, so I think I’m going to jog.”  

Total miles walked: 7.3 

Day 2, May 9: 

“It’s day two right now. I’m walking to my workout, not running today. I’m in rain boots, I got my umbrella because it’s pouring rain out."

"At Boise State. It was 1.6 miles of a walk from where I live to here. Now I have to go back home another 1.6 miles. My boss texted me asking me to go to Nampa and deliver signs. I cannot walk to Nampa, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve been trying to text and bribe my neighbor to take me there.” 

Total miles walked: 7.1 

Day 3, May 10: 

“I’m going to Uber right now, because I have to go all the way by Milwaukee, like that target area. So, fun, not going to walk as much today but gonna have to Uber, which is not super great.” 

Total miles walked: 5.2 

Day 4, May 11: 

“Today I ran to my work out again, then I just walked home. All day I was basically at home because I had a three and a half hour exam. So, I haven’t left the house, but it might be the perfect day to try out a bus and see where I end up. I’ve been trying to research online to find out the bus stations. The bus stations are really hard to find what routes they go on and to track and map out where you are going, it’s really difficult.” 

Total miles walked: 8.2 

Day 5, May 12: 

“So I ran to my work out again and walked back. I walked 2.7 miles to get my eyebrows done in downtown Boise. Then I walked another .2 to go boat. Now I’m walking like ten minutes away to work in an office right now. Lots of walking today.” 

Total miles walked: 8.3 

Day 6, May 13: 

“It’s Friday, I ran to my workout again, then walked back home. Now I’m walking two miles to get my nails done. Then I’m walking another 15 minutes because I’ll already be downtown to go work in the office, then I’ll walk home.

So, I had my neighbor pick me up again and I am on my way home for the night.” 

Total miles walked; 7.5 

Day 7, May 14: 

“Got picked up from the airport.

We’re driving to the mall. My mother is driving.” 

Total miles walked: 4.6 

KTVB caught up with Coe afterward to hear about her experience without a car. 

“I didn’t expect how hard it is on your body to walk everywhere,” Coe said. “It was really tiring.” 

She also said she had trouble using the local bus system. 

“It takes such a long time, and the busses can be late. It throws your whole day off. It could be hours to get somewhere that’s a 15-20 minute drive away, depending on where you’re going,” Coe said. 

Coe technically accomplished not driving for the week, but she still relied heavily on cars, whether it was an Uber or getting a ride from a friend.

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