Investing in a Vespa?

Anyone who lives in the Greater Toronto Area is probably now aware that the TTC did a sneak attack and went on strike at 12am this morning, leaving people at bars and clubs in the city stranded.

It has caused our city to come to a grinding halt and inconvenienced thousands upon thousands of riders who depend on the TTC to get them around.

This includes me.

This weekend, I *gasp!* actually had some social plans (I know! It’s crazy! Hermit Ginger actually having social plans?! Unbelievable.), so of course they had to go on strike. Of course they did.

That means 3 friendly outings today alone were botched, and my shopping plans for Sunday, too. I’m not too thrilled, as you can imagine.

But I guess I shouldn’t really complain too much. After all, it is the weekend and all neccessities such as grocery stores, pharmacy and laundromat are all within walking distance to me. I’ll be fine on that front, but it’s just injustice of the situation… I was finally going to be social and work on not being so awkward and the TTC had to ruin it. Thank gods I wasn’t clubbing last night.

This ridiculous strike has forced me to reevaluate my transportation options. Currently there is no possible way I can afford to either a) move closer to my workplace, b) walk or ride my bike to work (too far), nor c) afford a car.

So what else can I do when the TTC is on strike or having one of its many mechanical failures?

Coincidentally, when I received my May Metropass in the mail yesterday (on the discount plan) there was a coupon offering a membership with AutoShare for only $75 (AutoShare is a service that loans out cars for hours or days to its members, similar to ZipCars). This might actually be doable, it’s cheaper than ZipCars and there is a parking lot right by my house so I could certainly use it. It would cost me about $9.50/hour to rent a car, plus an annual fee of $35. That’s reasonable.

However, I’m not sure how easy it would be to reserve a vehicle during a strike. Hmmm. It would certainly make groceries easier though.

My other option, which I am seriously considering is purchasing a scooter. The Vespa brand definitely has the cutest, but they’re also the most expensive, so I’ve looked up some other brands and they’re much more affordable.

My dad has given me his blessing to get one, and is going to check to see how much it would cost to insure a scooter. I would have to get my M license but as I understand it I would be able to ride my scooter right away as long as it’s during daylight hours in the city.

I’ve googled a couple of shops in the area and I plan to go in and ask questions about the different types and brands, associated costs and the pros and cons of owning a scooter. I hope that the sales staff will be able to help me find the right scooter for my needs. I would love one that fits 2 people and has the luggage box on the back.

So far what I have learned is that it is economical and also less impactful on the environment to ride a scooter. It would give me more freedom and flexibility in terms of personal transportation, and I could use one for at least 6 months out of the year.

If I buy a used scooter I can get them for less than $3000, and most will only cost $4-10 per tank of gas. If I get a new scooter the pricetag would be much higher, but I would stay under $4000.

So now the hunt begins. Wish me luck!

Click here for the AutoShare discount for TTC MDP members.

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