Author Topic: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?  (Read 2671 times)

wealthviahealth

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San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« on: May 16, 2015, 11:53:03 AM »
Contemplating a move to SF.

Do a lot of professionals live without a car like in NYC and Chicago or would you feel a bit immobilized?

Squashy

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2015, 12:15:42 PM »
I lived in SF for 6 years with no car and didn't miss having one at all. Lots of people don't have cars and use City Car Share when they need one. The public transit system is ok (decent coverage, mediocre timeliness for surface transit, mediocre cleanliness on Bart) and many people bike as well.

Parking is challenging and expensive.

TN_Steve

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2015, 12:26:20 PM »
DS is there now for the third year running (a mid-20s engineer).  Lives 1.5 miles from work (with Nob Hill in the middle).  No car; uses bike, occasional zipcar on weekends, CalTran when he visits his friends in South Bay.

Gin1984

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2015, 12:30:26 PM »
I am from the Bay Area, no you don't need a car if you live in SF.

cats

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2015, 12:35:04 PM »
We have lived in the South Bay for 2 years and are now moving to the East Bay.  We had a car initially, but when it died, we didn't bother replacing it.  So far we've been fine, we might get one if we have a kid. 

One thing to be aware of is that there are multiple public transit systems in the area that don't necessarily have a lot of overlap.  For example, your office might have great access to BART but that really only runs north-south through SF (and then branches out in the east bay), so if you live somewhere like Outer Sunset you could be looking at a bus/light rail + BART commute.  There are a lot of cyclists though, and the weather is good for cycling a large chunk of the year, so if you both live and work in SF proper, you may be able to skip public transit entirely.

In a lot of areas, parking a car is also a PITA.  In any of the really urban areas (SF, Oakland), you'll probably pay extra for an apartment with offstreet parking, and if you park on the street, make sure to pay attention to the local street cleaning schedule (this could be a difficult thing to keep track of if you don't actually drive regularly).

cmerr2

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2015, 01:01:41 PM »
Currently living in SF. If you live near a BART station you should be absolutely fine. I don't have a car and don't need one. Beyond BART, buses will get you most anywhere you need to go. As a last resort, if you're travelling in the city you can use Uber Pool to get you anywhere in SF for $7 - the catch being you have to share the ride - no big deal.

I'm not really into biking, but this is a VERY bikable city if you have one.

Rubic

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2015, 05:31:34 PM »
I lived in downtown San Jose and stupidly kept my car in underground parking because I thought I needed it.  It stayed underground for 6 days of the week and I took it out only to go shopping at Costco.

Parking is a hassle everywhere in the Bay Area, so I always took mass transit or rode my bike.

No, you don't need (or want) a car in SF.  You'll have enough expenses without one.  :-0

Sibley

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Re: San Francisco; Do you need a Car?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2015, 06:17:35 PM »
Whether you need a car or not depends on where you are specifically. If you're in an area where transit, work, and stores are readily available, then you can get by without a car. If your job requires you to travel then that would change things obviously.

Assuming you don't have a car currently, try it without a car for a few months. Then evaluate if it's feasible long term. If you're asking the question, then probably you're fine without.