Adventures in a Car-Free Dallas: Which Transportation Alternative Is Right for You?

Categories: Transportation

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Don't have a car but the bus isn't your style? As part of our look at car-free Dallas living, Amy Silverstein weighs the pros and cons of other ways to get there from here.

Taxi
Pro: Even if you're partying in a sketchy part of town, calling Yellow Cab guarantees that the operator will say, "We'll send the next available driver, with an estimated wait time of 20 to 30 minutes." Awesome!
Con: Sometimes the operator is lying.

Uber
Pro: Nothing says class like ordering a limo you can't afford and billing it to your credit card. Someday you will pay it off.
Con: Wait ... what's "surge pricing"? You mean at times when most people want a ride, the limos cost more? Like 14 times more than normal, conveniently billed directly to your card. Someday just got further away.

See also: Adventures in a Car-Free Dallas: I Want My Damn Car Back
Adventures in a Car-Free Dallas: Cabbies Find Ways to Survive in a Tough Business
Adventures in a Car-Free Dallas: You Can Take DART to the Airport, but Beware the Coyotes
Adventures in a Car-Free Dallas: Catching a Ride Where Cabbies Fear to Tread

Lyft
Pro: Lyft is so much cheaper than Uber, and these aren't professional drivers. It's a ride-share app, the company promises. These are just nice people who are sharing their wheels in exchange for money. They're like your friends! The drivers are very talkative. Some have free candy. Afterward, you use an online star system to rate them, and your credit card is billed. If you don't want to pay the full fare, rate the driver poorly and the price goes down. Do this too often, though, and Lyft drivers will stop picking you up -- just like your former friends, you cheap bastard.

Con: Sometimes Lyft drivers are too friendly and inquisitive. Yes, I need you to take me to the dive bar. No, absolutely nothing special is happening there tonight. They're just selling booze. Yes, I'm going out alone. Happy now?

E-Frogs
Pro: THIS IS SO FUN. An open-air, street-legal golf cart shuttle service for Uptown, downtown and other nightlife-heavy neighborhoods. It's free, just tip well. And, if you happen to see someone you know while you're sitting in your E-Frog, you can stand up and give them the Miss America wave.

Con: The last time I got a ride home from E-Frog, the cart ran out of electricity. We traveled at an average 15 mph up until then. Try not to get rear-ended if that happens to you, because then you'll die.

Biking
Pro: Most of Dallas is flat and exercise makes you thin and happy.
Con: Biking to the bar severely limits what you can wear. Most party dresses just aren't bike friendly. Also, helmets fuck up your hair.


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21 comments
dallaskjg
dallaskjg

How to survive Dallas without a car? Home Office. Dominos. Chinese Food. Early Death.

Bill_Lumberg
Bill_Lumberg

Way to research your topic. UberX is the most cost effective option and is NOT a limo. It's great service at a less expensive price than a cab or town car.  Surge pricing is never 14 times and you are GIVEN THE PRICE BEFORE you take the ride. If you'd rather call a Yellow Cab, then go ahead.  

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Everytime some story that is actually about Dallas being Dallas comes around, we get a lot of comments about Dallas being 'some other city'.  Dallas is not New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore (not quite anyway, we haven't gotten that bad yet), Seoul, Paris, London, or Riyadh (we haven't gotten that far to the Right yet).  Dallas is never going to be one of those cities.  You could run a DART line right through the lofts in the old Adam Hats building and Dallas still wouldn't be Brooklyn.  You could build a signature bridge from Possum Kingdom to Lake Hubbard and Dallas still wont be San Fran.  First Baptist could spend $80 million dollars building a brand new Salvation dispensing boutique mall in downtown (they are) and Dallas still won't be Paris, or Rome, or Mecca, or even Salt Lake City for that matter.

Dallas is Dallas.  We're Topeka, KS with better barbecue.  We're Albuquerque with better taquerias.  We're Chula Vista without San Diego or the Tijuana Taxi.  We're Dallas.  Big Hair, Big Malls, Big Traffic and Big Potholes.  We do big, stupid things for big, stupid reasons.  Our very existence is big and stupid, we're a big, stupid city in a big, stupid location where no city should be.  Despite all this, and flying in the face of natural selection, we continue to be Dallas and continue to simply BE.  Dallas is the duck-billed platypus of American metroplexes (plexi??).  Revel in the fact that in 1,000,000 years, archaeologists from the subterranean mole-people culture that will then be populating earth will puzzle over why Dallas was, long after they're bored with the other cities.

ruddski
ruddski

Which transportation alternative is best for you?

BMW S1000RR.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I started reading these little gems fully prepared to grouse and complain about how the Observer staff was phoning it in, slow news day, etc etc.

You ARE phoning it in, but who cares? These are fun, informative and light fare for Friday Lunch reading.  Good job.

Voot
Voot

Which car-free Dallas alternative is right for me? Hmmm, let me think. Oh, right: not venturing into Dallas at all, particularly to spend money, unless absolutely unavoidable.


Will that help?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

You left out the absolute best way to live without a car in Dallas: move to a real city.



d.andrew.jones
d.andrew.jones

@RTGolden1 You are awesome!!! Totally vocalized with clarity what I have been unable to put my finger on, about Dallas, (as a recent transplant from LA). The first thing I said when I moved here was what a weird place for a city, in the middle of a cow pasture. I'm sincerely, a fan of you!  

Tipster1908
Tipster1908

@Montemalone there aren't many cities worldwide that are bearable without a car, or at least without consistent access to a paid driver (taxi, uber, etc). Dallas needs to get over its self loathing about the car addiction.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall @Montemalone 

New York

Chicago

San Francisco

Boston

Philadelphia 

just off the top of my head.

I know they're all liberal hell holes, but apparently 10s of millions of people manage to endure it, and quite a few without cars.


I think I've come to hate driving because I'm forced to for work. So far today, 143 miles. Some days it's over 200. I've lost count of the near misses from swerving texting eating reading diaperdumping and who knows what else drivers doing everything but pay attention to the road and drive.


ruddski
ruddski

@Sotired

One that isn't Dallas.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Tipster1908 @MontemaloneIf people weren't so afraid of walking we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I walk 4 miles a day on the boring but beautiful Katy Trail because it's the only place to walk in the urban core of Dallas. Nobody walks anywhere. We have valet parking everywhere. We have a bunch of people that drive to the mailbox. I miss walking in Chicago, even when it's cold. Have you ever tried walking across Central from Oak Lawn (or Uptown as I'm supposed to call it these days) to East Dallas? I live 2 blocks from Jack in the Box, and nothing justifies Monster Tacos more than walking to get them, but getting across Central is not for the faint-hearted. The walk signals don't do anything, It's a mile to the closest grocery store in the densest neighborhood in town. Crate and Barrel is great, but the Tom Thumb that used to occupy the spot would be much better for me. Amazingly, Trader Joe's will soon be occupying a prime location but the resulting carpocalypse will make reminiscing about the current carclusterfuck that is Knox Street but a fond memory. I drove home from my last assignment in Grand Prairie by taking a left on 303 and cruising over the urban chemical dump otherwise known as Mountain Creek Lake. Cruising down Kiest and up and down the hills of what would in most places be the most coveted part of town I ended up driving up Harwood seeing all the "old Dallas" that was urban, now decayed. Densely designed so people living in the neighborhood had places within walking distance to take care of the daily necessities of life, and along the way interact with the people that are doing the same. Now we sit in cars and half or more of us are carrying on conversations with people that aren't there, on their phones, endangering everyone else around them.

Maybe we wouldn't have so many fatass obese slobs if we didn't have all their fatasses planted in their suvs and instead they had to get up and walk somewhere.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall @Montemalone 

I forgot to use the new and improved commenting system's italicizing feature. That's why "endure" is in quotation marks.

However, when I say I endure living in "liberal" DFW, notice where I place the quotation marks.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@Montemalone @Sotiredofitall  Don't mind San Francisco; "endure" is the right word, can only stand a short visit to the others. 


Lived in downtown Philly for a year, not having to drive did not make up for rest of the experience.


Sorry you have to deal with the traffic on such an extended basis, would likely jade my view too.


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