A car to improve lives

What is that famous definition of an intelligent person? Someone who can keep two contradictory ideas in mind without her head exploding? Here is pretty interesting test of this for our more aggressive anti-car friends.

A car to get them off welfare and improve their lives in Baltimore

– Source: Toll Roads News.

The Baltimore Sun’s transport report Michael Dresser has a great story this week about a Baltimore charity called Vehicles for Change (VfC) that is enriching the lives of transit-dependent people by getting them a car. 24-year old Karyn Wilmer a single mother with a 2-year old calls a 1998 Honda she got from VfC  “almost a miracle for me,”  the car has so radically improved her life. The car had enabled her to get work because transit to the workplace was impossible.

Recipients of the donated cars said that their new mobility enabled them look after children better and to shop better.

Vehicles for Change organized a promotional event recently called “Walk in their Shoes” in the car recipients left their cars at home for one day and retracted their walks and transit rides on typical trips they had to make when carless.

Reporters and officials traipsed along on the long walks to the bus stop and then waited around for the buses which rarely ran to schedule, then  the awkward routine of folding the stroller and hoisting it and child up into the bus while maneuvering coins and bills for the fare.

The Sun report quotes a survey that showed 70% of recipients of cars said they made thousands increase in income in the year after they’d got a car. Children benefited in less monetary ways, being able to be taken more places than transit makes convenient.

Recipients rent the cars typically for $75/month. Often after a couple of years they’ve made enough extra income to be able to afford their own. A good rent payment record is accepted by local banks as a credit positive.

No comment from the transit enthusiasts or those who want to “get people out of their cars.”

OUR (Toll ROads) COMMENT: Carlessness in the modern world is a form of transit-slavery, a scourge which true progressives and liberals will oppose. Programs like Baltimore’s Vehicles for Change enabling people of limited means to get cars deserve support.



testimonials from grateful recipients of cars: http://vehiclesforchange.org/testimonials.html

TOLLROADSnews 2011-10-06

– Thanks to Paul Minett for the heads up on this


2 thoughts on “A car to improve lives

  1. Here is some rhetorical symbolism from a rabid promoter of appropriate transport: If there is a bullet that is going to hit me, I will gladly accept a bullet-proof vest. However, I would rather (etc…).

    “Often after a couple of years they’ve made enough extra income to be able to afford their own.” YES, that’s the trick – and also why some are critical of carsharing program–

    Ah ha! Yes, do these people need their own vehicles, or just a vehicle? How about donating the vehicles to some kind of carshare service set up just for these people?
    Anything else just prevents the inevitable. All band-aids wear off eventually.


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