No car? No problem. Plenty of U.S. cities with good public transportation make it possible to live comfortably without owning a vehicle. Living without a car has some serious perks, like fewer responsibilities (goodbye, routine oil changes) and serious cash savings (hello, luxury apartment!).
In our last post about apartment living budgeting, we discussed how easy it is to get excited when looking to find an apartment and how ideally, the reality of true costs should be factored in using a budget. A recent CNNMoney article suggests that housing market fallout and higher demand for rentals will lead to rate hikes in the coming months and years. With gas prices also nearing record highs, the cost of transportation is something worth factoring into your apartment search equation. Mobile apps might be one way many of us can save time and money.
For those who commute from their apartment using personal vehicles, GasBuddy, an application available for the iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile, allows users to locate gas stations nearby with the lowest prices. While gas prices from location to location don’t vary too much, over time the cost savings can add up. Furthermore, Google Maps and a host of navigation applications on today’s mobile smartphones can help drivers reach destinations more efficiently and possibly help navigate around gas-siphoning traffic jams.
Of course, getting there is only half the battle. Parking in urban areas can be pricey. There are several mobile apps available that help drivers find the best rates for parking garages and meters.
For the urban apartment living commuter who prefers to take a taxi, a host of mobile applications will connect you quickly and easily to taxi services. Some of them will even estimate fares and show you which taxis take credit cards.
We certainly can’t forget about public transportation, which is frequently the lowest-cost and most environmentally-friendly way to get around. A multitude of public transportation applications exist for specific geographic areas throughout the country. A simple search in your mobile application store can provide you an app to help you find transportation schedules, pinpoint locations and even purchase tickets – all through your phone.