Alternatives to Cars

In the days of so-called share economy, a number of people are wondering whether owning a car is still an economically justified practice. Let us take a look at some of the alternatives during a month without a car.

1. Amazon.com. For years, we’ve been buying almost everything we can from Amazon. We never really thought of Amazon as reducing our dependence on cars, but looking back at our month without a car, it clearly has had a big impact on the number of trips we need to make.

2. Walking. We definitely found ourselves walking more, especially at first. When comparing a public transit option under two miles, we discovered that sometimes it’s just faster to walk. In October, when the weather is ideal for walking, that was easy. In January or July, that will not be the case. That said, as the month progressed, we got better at optimizing other forms of transportation and didn’t experience quite so much additional walking. Note that, because we live right downtown, we can walk to many of the places—including a grocery store—that others would drive to. While we didn’t and still don’t walk miles and miles every day, we’ve been walking to many meetings and for lots of errands for the 12 years we’ve lived downtown.

4. Light Rail. Within 100 yards of the front door of our building is a Trax stop, our local light rail line. It is magnificent. With lines sprawling all around the valley, including a direct line to the airport from our home, it is a powerful, eco-friendly way to get around. We even live within the “Free Fare Zone” so we pay nothing to ride the train in any direction for up to a mile and we often do (we always have). This month, we used it more regularly as an alternative to our car for longer trips and found it convenient and easy. While the standard rate for a trip is $2.50, anyone can purchase a fare card that provides a discount of 20%, reducing the effective fare to $2.00.
The Utah Transit Authority has said the discount will expire, but they’ve said that before and then extended the expiration date. I hope that pattern continues.

5. Commuter Rail. The Wasatch Front in Utah features a commuter rail system known as FrontRunner. In the spirit of full disclosure, we did not actually use FrontRunner during our month-long experiment, though we have used it in the past. We were planning to use it to visit friends in Ogden (about 50 miles north of Salt Lake City) but they canceled on us, so we didn’t go. The round trip fare from Salt Lake to Ogden is about $10 per person, cheaper than operating a car, even with two people. (The IRS would allow me to deduct about $57 for that round trip.)

6. Bike Share. Early in the month, I joined Salt Lake’s Green Bike sharing program. I’ve become a big fan after 30 days. There are, I’m not kidding, three bike rental stands within 250 yards of our building, each in a different direction, so almost anywhere I’m headed there is a bike stand on my way. I just wave my card over the lock, pull the bike from the rack and ride. The bikes have cute and functional baskets into which I can drop my laptop and I’m on my way. I confess, now that I’ve joined and rides up to one hour are free to me, I’ve ridden them often for just a few blocks because it is faster than walking.


Ex. 1 Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) a situation when you have to do sth: __________
2) without a doubt: __________
3) to make sth balanced: __________
4) in the city centre: __________
5) things you have to do : __________
6) to grow and develop: __________
7) when you can pay less than the regular price: __________
8) in fact: __________
9) a holder: ___________
10)to joke to sb: __________
11)the American tax authority: __________
12)to permit sb to do sth: _________


Ex. 2 Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1. share                                                 better at sth
2. an economically                            card
3. sth is                                                disclosure
4. to get                                               sb to do sth
5. light                                                 justified practice
6. to find                                            date
7. a fare                                               economy
8. an expiration                                sth convenient
9. full                                                  rail
10. to allow                                        the case



Ex. 3 Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) to powiedziawszy
2) sklep spożywczy
3) niewiarygodny
4) przemieszczać się
5) trend
6) kolej podmiejska
7) odwołać spotkanie z kimś
8) bilet tam i z powrotem
9) odliczyć
10)kierować się gdzieś
11)parę przecznic

Grammar corner…

As you probably know, the word perfect in grammar means done and complete. So how is it possible that a future tense can at the same time be done and complete? It not always is, but what we express here is our ASSUMPTION that it will be. In other words, we assume that something will be done at a certain time or point in the future. Future Perfect usually goes with phrases like: by (e.g. next week, the end of the month), before, until, next, or specific dates. If you would like to emphasize that something lasted for a longer period of time, use Future Perfect Continuous.


Ex. 4 Complete the sentences:

1) By October 2015 I ____________________ (GRADUATE) from my post-graduate studies.
2) B y t h e t ime we c omp l e t e t h e d e v e l o pme n t p h a s e , t h e y ____________________ (SUCCEED).
3) Economists believe that the OTC-drugs market ____________________ (EXPAND) over the course of the next 3 years.
4) We ____________________ (CONCLUDE) the agreement by the time they enact the new legislation.
5) On July 8, 2017 we ____________________ (BEEN) on the market for exactly 20 years.
6) The courts in this country are extremely slow! They ____________________ (HANDLE) with this case for 15 years by the end of this month.
7) The private education sector ____________________ (SHRINK) significantly by the end of the decade due to changing demographics.
8) I ____________________ (NOT FINISH) the report by the time the meeting starts because I received the last set of data too late.
9) The new motorway ____________________ (COMPLETE) until the general election.
10)By 2025, the Chinese economy ____________________ (OUTGROW) the American one.




dependence on sth  – zależność od czegoś
clearly  – w oczywisty sposób
to optimize sth  – zoptymalizować coś
downtown  – centrum miasta
errands –  sprawy do załatwienia
to sprawl  – rozrastać się
a discount –  zniżka
actually  – w rzeczy samej
a rack  – stojak
to kid sb  – żartować sobie z kogoś
the IRS  – amerykański urząd skarbowy
to allow sb to do sth –  pozwolić komuś na zrobienie czegoś
share economy  – gospodarka polegająca na dzieleniu się zasobami
an economically justified practice – działanie uzasadnione z gospodarczego punktu widzenia
sth is the case coś ma miejsce – to get better at sth stawać się w czymś lepszym
light rail lekka kolej – to find sth convenient uznać coś za wygodne
a fare card  – „karta miejska”
an expiration date  – data ważności
full disclosure  – ujawnienie wszystkich informacji
a bike rental  – stand stacja wynajmu rowerów
that said to  – powiedziawszy
a grocery store  – sklep spożywczy
magnificent –  niewiarygodny
to get around  – przemieszczać się
a pattern  – trend
commuter rail  – kolej podmiejska
to cancel on sb  – odwołać spotkanie z kimś
a round trip fare  – bilet tam i z powrotem
to deduct  – odliczyć
to be headed somewhere  – kierować się gdzieś
a few blocks –  parę przecznic
cute  – uroczy

download lesson (pdf)




Ex. 1
1) dependence on sth
2) clearly
3) to optimize sth
4) downtown
5) errands
6) to sprawl
7) a discount
8) actually
9) a rack
10)to kid sb
11)the IRS
12)to allow sb to do sth
Ex. 2
1) share economy
2) an economically justified practice
3) sth is the case
4) to get better at sth
5) light rail
6) to find sth convenient
7) a fare card
8) an expiration date
9) full disclosure
10)a bike rental stand
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2
Ex. 3
1) that said
2) a grocery store
3) magnificent
4) to get around
5) a pattern
6) commuter rail
7) to cancel on sb
8) a round trip fare
9) to deduct
10)to be headed somewhere
11)a few blocks
12) cute
Ex. 4
1. … will have graduated …
2. … will have succeeded …
3. … will have expanded …
4. … will have concluded …
5. … will have been …
6. … will have been handling …
7. … will have shrunk …
8. … will not have finished …
9. … will have been completed …
10.… will have outgrown …