If you have a driver's license, you're probably thinking about getting behind the wheel. Driving in LA is a unique (and unavoidable) beast that gives you insights into other people and lessons in the local culture. But driving in LA the green way will help safeguard our future. Start developing green habits now with these tips.
- Learning California (& LA) Rules of the RoadLA Weekly’s less subjective observations are worth taking into consideration, such as protecting your left side from the sun, LA drivers' lack of experience with rain (you remember rain, right?) and unexpected, off-rush hour traffic jams.These are things you'll pick up with driving experience. For now, you first need to learn to drive according to California's road rules, which, in theory, supersede LA's.Before you get into a car and start driving these hallowed freeways, take an online driving assessment and an interactive test. It's definitely worth finding out how much you don't know about driving in California or any other state.
- Driving Green Brings Rebates & PrivilegesIn California, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project hands back up to $2,500 for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), $1,500 for plugin hybrids, and $900 for electric motorcycles and those tiny neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) you see on surface streets.Many states allow green vehicles to use the express/HOV lanes, so you can get to work (and home) sooner.
- Green Cars are Getting More AffordableYou wouldn't know it from the headlines, but Tesla is not your only option. Green vehicles are becoming increasingly more affordable.Autobytel.com lists the 2015 Prius at under $20,000. Electric cars are more expensive than hybrids; still, several list under $30,000. While this may seem like a lot of money, remember that gasoline prices are unstable at best, so consider your long-term savings.Additionally, more than half of U.S. states offer some kind of incentive for purchasing electric or hybrid cars, according to PlugInAmerica.org.Hybrid and electric cars have been on the market for several years now, so you could also consider buying a used one to save more money. A secondhand one can be more affordable than you might realize, even on a starter salary.
- Public Transport: The Ultimate in Green TransportationIn many cities like New York City, commuting via public transportation is normal and preferable to driving.Business Insider says LA has the ninth best public transportation in the nation. It has a huge bus ridership, and is channeling a few billion dollars into its light rail system, which will also alleviate road traffic. And like many cities, LA runs a bikes-on-buses service so commuters who really work out of the way can still get there without a car.