Family of five adopts ‘car-lite’ lifestyle

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – On Friday, Hoosiers were invited to take part in a worldwide effort to go “car-lite” by carpooling or commuting on public transportation, bike or other means.

In central Indiana, Car Free Day was first celebrated in an organized event on Sept. 22, 2016 by Commuter Connect.

Miki Hamstra of Indianapolis participated in the idea but Friday was like any other day for her over the past year and a half.

She chose, in that time, to operate with her husband and three children using one family vehicle.

Hamstra’s van and her husband’s vehicle broke down during the same week in Dec. 2015.

The couple decided to stay “car-lite” in what they originally thought was a short-term solution but found it worked for their situation.

“It has forced me to really pick and choose what really is most important. Do I really need to make that extra stop at the store? Probably not,” Hamstra said.

Hamstra has discovered advantages to using public transportation options including IndyGo and the car-sharing service Blue Indy. She said she saved $1,500 in parking fees alone for her job at IUPUI in the first 18 months and found more time to connect with friends as well as catch up on work.

She believes more people in Indianapolis could benefit from the lifestyle but have not considered it an option.

“Indy has had such a bad rap for such a long time about lack of access to transit, and I would agree to some extent, but there are pockets of this city that have amazing access,” Hamstra said. “Until people try it, they won’t actually know.”

Commuter Connect hosted breakfast and lunch events on Friday for people taking part in Car Free Day.