public transportation

What to Do if you Don’t Have a Car Right Now

Cost-Effective Ways to Get Around 

Reach out to Friends and Family 

Make a list of everyone you know that has a reliable mode of transportation. Next, organize your list based on who lives closest to you. Most people want to help; reach out to those that live nearest to you and explain your situation. Create another list that outlines places you need to be, dates and times. Perhaps, one friend or relative could give you a ride to your destination and a different individual could give you a ride back. Offering to pitch in to pay for gas is a cost-effective alternative to renting a vehicle or taking an Uber or Lyft.  

Get Friendly with the Neighbors 

You’ve likely seen some familiar faces in your neighborhood and have maybe befriended one or two of them. Strike up a conversation and see if they work in the same town that you do or perhaps shop at the same grocery store. Be open about your situation and there’s a chance that they might give you a lift if they’re headed that way or in a similar direction.  

Utilize Public Transportation 

If you live in an area with access to public transportation, it can be an affordable option in the meantime. Google Maps offers a section under “Directions” to select “Transit” that will identify transportation near you, the total travel time, stop information and any walking time if applicable. Additionally, if you live in or close to a large city, the official transit authority website (ex. Chicago Transit Authority) will have maps, schedules, fares and stops posted.

Join a Carpool Group on Facebook 

If you are active on social media, consider searching and joining a Facebook Group Page in your community centered on carpooling. For example, “Carpool Chicago” identifies itself as, “a place where you can chat about commuting and post requests for rides and/or offer to carpool others.” Ride requesters can make a post that includes a start and end location, needed times and days.


If available and weather permitting, utilize Google Maps to plan a cycle-friendly route. Google Maps will show the total number of miles and the anticipated travel time. Additionally, the website provides turn-by-turn instructions with landmarks (like Burger King) to keep an eye out for. It should be noted that some routes don’t consider major roads with heavy traffic; review the route ahead of time to ensure safety. 

Contact Cars of Hope

Cars of Hope is a charitable organization providing vehicles to people in the suburbs of Chicago who have fallen on difficult times. Our goal is to assist them in becoming financially independent by providing for their transportation needs. We do this by partnering with social agencies in our area to connect us with individuals in need. A list of these partners can be found here on our website. To apply for a car from Cars of Hope if you are already working with one of these partner programs, reach out to your coordinator to determine if you meet the requirements. If
you have any questions about the process, please visit our website for more information.