Are there alternatives to driving?

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Annual cost to own, operate small car between $6,000 and $10,000

How do you get around your local community? Is it working for you?

Most people get around in a personal vehicle. Our cars and trucks are convenient, fast, flexible and comfortable. We have the freedom to move as we please. Our neighbourhoods, shopping areas and daily routines are designed for the compelling qualities of the personal vehicle.

However, a growing number of people are wondering what is the true cost of personal vehicles? They’re expensive — the average annual cost in Canada is $6,000 to $10,000 to own and operate a Honda Civic — and traffic collisions are the second leading cause of injury-related death in Nova Scotia.

Our ability to get routine exercise is limited by dependency on vehicle transportation and is a contributing factor to rising obesity rates (currently 26 per cent of adults in Nova Scotia). And the stats on environmental consequences are equally unfortunate.

But there’s something else our cars and trucks are doing. It’s personal and often overlooked. Most of us yearn for more time spent doing things that matter, such as spending more time with family, friends, the community or in nature, and time to be physically active or relieve stress with relaxation.

No one ever says, “This year, I resolve to drive more!”

We’re seeking connections, be it with loved ones, the world around us or ourselves.

This rapid door-to-door mobility has left us rather isolated in our routines. We don’t greet our neighbours or notice birds in the trees. We can’t hold our child’s hand from behind the wheel. Frustration with fellow drivers can boil over, leaving us drained.

We’re left uncertain. Is there an alternative? There must be another way of moving through our routines that makes us happier and healthier, where we trade speed and convenience for joy and connection. How could we get around town differently? What can we do to make it possible?

To explore these questions and more, join us for a regional public gathering on Feb. 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the First United Church Hall at Queen and Lorne, Truro. The gathering will feature live music from Tatamagouche, treats from Brookfield, a 50/50 draw for the United Way, childcare onsite, and we even provide transportation from some locations.

For more information, visit or call 899-7907.

Organizations: First United Church Hall, United Way

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada, Tatamagouche

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