Home » I’m Getting Paid By The City To Only Drive One Of My Cars And I’m Not Sure I Can Do It

I’m Getting Paid By The City To Only Drive One Of My Cars And I’m Not Sure I Can Do It

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“We’re in!” my significant other just emailed me about Santa Monica’s “One Car Challenge” — something that I had probably — while focused on editing articles — unthinkingly nodded my head to a few weeks ago when she asked whether we should partake. I glance down to the body of the email and immediately grab a paper bag to calm my breathing; what the hell have I just done?!

The One Car Challenge is a car-hoarder’s nightmare, really. Just look at this:

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Check out the details. From the city of Santa Monica:

What is the “One Car Challenge?”

The “One Car Challenge” is a groundbreaking pilot program set to kick off in November, to incentivize 200 Santa Monica residents to rely on only one car per household. This initiative is a part of Santa Monica’s ongoing efforts to reduce traffic congestion, promote eco-friendly transportation alternatives, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

[…]

If you qualify for the “One Car Challenge,” you’ll receive a weekly stipend for your commitment to using just one car during the challenge period.

Oh my god this is my nightmare.

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How the heck is this man going to drive a single car for five weeks?:

Admittedly, I sold quite a few of the machines you see in the video above, but I have bought three since moving to California in January, so now I have these:

  • 1958 Nash Metropolitan (non-operable)
  • 1966 Ford Mustang
  • 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle (also non-operable)
  • 1985 Jeep J10
  • 1991 Jeep Wrangler
  • 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd (other than acting as a cat nursery, non-functional)
  • 2011 Nissan Leaf (operable for like 20 miles at a time)
  • 2014 BMW i3

To be sure, three of those cars aren’t functional, but still! I have five awesome machines that I love to drive, and now I’m being limited to just one!?

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Wait, not only am I being limited to just one, but BOTH my SO and I have to share a single car…Wait, which car? Did she already choose one?! Is it… oh god she didn’t…

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Please car-gods, spare me from the pain of having to drive a Lexus RX350 for five weeks. It’s a fine car that she loves, sure, but as an enthusiast, it makes me die a little inside, and by week five, it’s possible that my wrenching superpowers will have withered away just like Hercules’ almost did when Hades gave him that potion as a baby. (Wait, didn’t he end up losing his superpowers over a girl?).

[Editor’s Note: David is specifically refering to Disney’s Hercules, the animated one, not necessarily any of the actual ancient Greek and Roman myths about Heracles/Hercules – JT]

Man I wish I hadn’t signed up fo — wait, a second. Hold on a minute! I just read this:

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The program offers payments of up to $119.80 per week, totaling $599 per household over the course of five weeks. Imagine what you could do with that extra cash in your pocket!

Six Hundred SMACKEROONIES! I can buy another car with this! Bring on the boring luxury crossover. Let’s goooooo!

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Things and stuff
Things and stuff
7 months ago

There will probably be more emissions generated sending out those Amazon gift cards than what will be saved by this dumb program

ColoradoFX4
ColoradoFX4
7 months ago

Just think of the content that could’ve been generated had DT’s SO signed up with the Leaf, or better yet, the J10. Relationship may have taken a hit of course, but all in the name of content!

Myk El
Myk El
7 months ago

I could easily do that myself as a work from home. But as a household, it would be difficult. One family member works 4 10 hour shifts including one on Saturday. I think we tried it, we’d actually end up making more trips (dropping off and picking up at work) so someone could have the car during the day.

Accordian
Accordian
7 months ago

Think Honda will let you borrow a Motocompacto for a few weeks?

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
7 months ago

It’s either the Lexus or the BMW. The Lexus has more usable space, so it’s a good option. For someone who learned to appreciate and love the “LandCruiser” when you had it, the Lexus should be fine.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

Wait, What?! David has not just a friend but a S.O.?

Tim R
Tim R
7 months ago

The obvious choice would be the Nissan. Think of the content!

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
7 months ago

Yeah, that would be rough for me. Lately, I’ve been driving my 03 Focus ZX-5 because it’s the cheapest to operate. My 05′ E320 CDi is great but diesel is still expensive. My 05′ Magnum has a chip tune and uses Premium. And well, the Mustang is the same but it’s also up north while my sister borrows it.

Spoons Are Not Forks
Spoons Are Not Forks
7 months ago

Seven years ago, we were a family of 3, soon to be 5, living with one car in San Diego. I, stupidly, snapped the timing belt on my Galant VR4 two months before my twins were to be born, but we somehow made it through those 2 months. My wife did public transportation to get to her doctors appointments and I rode my bike almost an hour to get work and my kid to daycare. This turned into a love a biking that I had seemed to forget for about 20 years. I did end up getting a freshly rebuilt motor into the gvr4 two weeks before the twins were born.
It did help that we lived in a city, and everything we needed was two blocks away. We would have been screwed if this happened were we live now, small town about an hour away from a “big” town (26k people), and two hours from a major city.
You will be fine, embrace the bicycle. Go Orlove this situation up.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
7 months ago

I’m a little confused how using 1 car saves any emissions?

If I drive 100 miles a week why does it matter if I split it between 2 or even 3 cars? I think someone is doing the math wrong.

edit: I didn’t consider traffic congestion, which if I read more carefully would have been apparent. So I guess this initiative only works for multiple driver households.

Last edited 7 months ago by My Goat Ate My Homework
Things and stuff
Things and stuff
7 months ago

Governments don’t think is the answer

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
7 months ago

One cat challenge? Yeah, good luck David.

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
7 months ago

Not so funny meow, is it?

Addlightness
Addlightness
7 months ago

You can only drive one car? You can’t park it, or look at it? Perhaps you mean you can drive only one car.

Ok, the pedantic editor in me is satisfied.

John Norris
John Norris
7 months ago

The reasons not to live in Santa Monica, or California for that matter, just compound over time.

Jb996
Jb996
7 months ago
Reply to  John Norris

Because their running an OPTIONAL program to get people to try out other forms of transit? (biking, public, etc.) It somehow offends you that they’re even offering an OPTIONAL program?

Grayson Williams
Grayson Williams
7 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

these are the same people who got deeply offended that Cracker Barrel started offering veg-based meat substitutes without removing any meat items from their menu (https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/04/business-food/cracker-barrel-impossible-meat-controversy/index.html). They don’t want anyone to have a choice to be different from them

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
7 months ago

“Don’t force your choices on me! Let ME force MY choices on YOU!”

Crimedog
Crimedog
7 months ago

Sometimes the most extreme views, the ones that are basically nothing but virtue signaling, are grabbed by the loudest voices. That doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘they’ or ‘everyone’ feels that way. Something like one out of every nine people in the US live in California…..

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
7 months ago
Reply to  John Norris

I don’t know … if there are fewer people on the roads then it should become more enjoyable for enthusiasts to drive on them.

Also, this seems like an excellent chance for David to focus on fixing and maintaining his fleet while it’s parked.

Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
7 months ago

I would have a hard time not messing up the entire spirit of this challenge if it were to be presented to my family in the city (town) I live in. I’d totally accept it – it would be doable since my wife only works two blocks from home and my daughter can easily bike to school. However, I’d likely end up leaving the Volt in the garage for 5 weeks and use that sweet extra cash to daily my ’71 Cadillac Sedan deVille. Free gas money, hell yeah! Never underestimate the law of unintended consequences.

Ricardo
Ricardo
7 months ago

She is changing you DT.
First it was not liking your hands being dirty.
Now its restricting you to one car, her Lexus.
Next article will be how you can jazz up your bathroom space with a new colorful hand towels from a funky new fair-trade homewares shop.

George Millwood
George Millwood
7 months ago
Reply to  Ricardo

ROFLOL

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
7 months ago

It seems like the i3 is the best choice since it’s fun and being electric is the most in the spirit.
It’s possible to get by on one car in the suburbs, we did it for several years because I took the train to work and then tele-commuted. We both work remote now so even though we have two cars and a truck we can go a couple of days without driving.

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