For some Oklahoma families, owning a car isn't an option. But others are now making the choice to go carless. One couple has taken on the challenge in Oklahoma City, and they're sharing their successes and struggles.
Newlyweds John and Beth Tankard moved to downtown OKC 4 months ago with every intention of buying a car.
Beth said, "We spent one day going to car places and it was awful."
They then realized a car might not be necessary after all.
"I'm able to walk to work," said John. "We're able to walk to the grocery store. We have an ATM around the corner. We get our hair cut ... right up the street."
And for everything else, there's public transportation. Beth takes the bus to work. They also rely on taxis and even car sharing services. All of their experiences are detailed on their blog, http://carlessinokc.blogspot.com/ .
They don't deny there are especially challenging days.
"We've had those days where it's completely broken down," said Beth. "Someone reads the bus schedule wrong and you end up having to walk an extra 45 minutes."
There's also the challenge of ever changing Oklahoma weather, but the Tankards say it's worth it. They estimate a $10-thousand savings for every year they are carless.
They're also in better physical shape. "I don't necessarily have to go to the gym, because I walk two miles a day everyday just going to and from work," John said.
Not just physically healthier, the Tankards say going carless has made their marriage stronger. Long walks mean time for deep conversation. And many outings require careful planning together. John said, "Every journey is a team building exercise."
Their blog has linked them up with a community of Oklahomans forgoing their cars, or at least now interested in the idea, including families with children. The tankards are determined to continue going carless even once they have kids.
"We just make it work," said Beth. "I think there are a lot of ways to make it work that people don't realize."