Who Shares?

Meet Hanna.

Hanna has nightmares about people giving her cars. This is what we learned after a recent chat with her. “I think the nightmares stemmed from a friend who was trying to do me a favor by giving me his old truck,” she said. “I told him that that was the worst thing he could do.”

Hanna has been sharing cars since she joined CarShare Vermont over a year ago. She had an old vehicle that was long since paid off, but when it started needing repairs, she became frustrated by investing a lot in something she just wasn’t using. Hanna finally donated her car to Good News Garage and claims she doesn’t miss it at all. She ultimately decided to try CarShare Vermont because it made financial sense, but also because she knew she’d be less inclined to drive if there wasn’t a car sitting in her driveway. The health benefits that come with driving less are also important to Hanna. She thought that by giving up her car, she’d be more motivated to ride her bike.

She was right. Most of the time, Hanna gets around by bike, her main mode of transportation for all four seasons. It really helps that she’s got the gear. Hanna says that “winter riding is a lot nicer than people think.” There’s not much precipitation, no hot days, and overheating just means shedding a layer. Hanna likes the independence that comes with riding a bike, too. “Exercise is part of my life,” she says. “I don’t have to think about integrating an exercise routine.”

Hanna estimates that her two-person household spends about $80 per month on CarShare Vermont. That’s less than what most people spend on gas in two weeks. Sometimes they spend more, for example when they go camping for the weekend. But some months they get by with driving very little, if at all. When people ask her how much it costs to use CarShare Vermont, she explains that she did “a lot of calculations before I signed up. I learned that even if my car didn’t break, I’d still save money using CarShare Vermont.” She loves not having a car payment and not having to deal with oil changes. “Who likes to go to car dealerships?” she asks, rhetorically.

The community aspect of CarShare Vermont is also really important to Hanna. She likes that the vehicles are shared and cared for by the people in her community and emphasizes how grateful she feels when she gets into a clean car with plenty of gas.  She gets really excited when she sees other people in CarShare Vermont vehicles and fondly refers to them as “part of the family.”

Hanna is a massage therapist in Burlington. Her studio, called Emerge, is located on Pearl street in a red brick building across from Bove’s. She often uses CarShare Vermont to tote her massage chair around for events. She’s so enthusiastic about sustainable transportation that she recently volunteered her business as a new Fob Friend–CarShare Vermont members can get pampered with a discounted massage at Emerge.

Hanna usually drives Horatio but often uses Pearl when she takes her canoe out. She values having access to different types of vehicles. Recently, Hanna went out to the Waterbury Reservoir for a paddling trip. And no road trip would be complete without a bag of Fritos, Hanna’s favorite driving snack. “It’s the only time I’m allowed to have them,” she says.

“After I joined, I realized that I thought I needed a car way more than I actually did,” Hanna concludes. She loves that she doesn’t have to rely on other people for rides. Friends and family thought she was crazy for giving up her car, but she’s since proved that this was a very thoughtful and rewarding decision.

Thanks for sharing, Hanna!

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