This is the third half of the post on transportation.
"The Bike Man"
In our area, there is a gentleman that refurbishes bicycles for the local children. He takes used bikes as donations, and he also collects bikes during big trash pick up day.
He will give these bicycles to children that have gone through a short class, taught by himself, on bicycle safety and maintenance; additionally, he will sell his excess bikes to help fund his project.
He works out of his garage repairing the bicycles as needed. He also salvages parts from bikes that are unusable.
Why, am I telling you this?
Because, this would make a good side business, and this is a way of getting transportation for everyone in the family for free or little cost.
Observant Bystander - Big Trash Day
Spilled Ink - Big Trash Pick Up
Nicomachus - Local Bike Man
Getting to Work
A total collapse probably won't happen. Yep, I know it's sad but true; no mutant zombie biker gangs, weird looking Mad Max cars, or Car Wars action; just lots of folks needing to get to work, so they can earn the money to buy the stuff their families will need to survive.
James Dakin of Bison Survival Blog suggests using a bicycle to get to work. According to his blog, he rides to work on his bicycle everyday. That's a great idea "if" you live close to work.
Another way would be to "Share the Ride."
If you don't like that idea, how about buying a small scooter. The scooter/Moped have a very small engine. The engine, 49cc, is so small some states consider them a powered bicycle. (No motorcycle license required). They get from 50 to 100 miles per gallon and most scooters maintain, at least, 25 miles per hour.
Lastly, you can look at selling/trading in your old car (low gas mileage) for a higher gas mileage car. We did this when we were looking to replace our cars; however, our mechanic suggested staying away from the hybrids. His reasoning: The hybrids cost more and we wouldn't recoup that extra cost even if fuel went to $5.00 a gallon. Replacing a battery pack is $8,000. So, no hybrids for us.
Wikipedia - Mad Max
Wikipedia - Car Wars
Bison Survival Blog
Share the Ride Challange - Share the Ride Challange
GS Motor Works - 49cc Scooters
Auto Broker Magic - EPA Gas Mileage Best Cars Ratings
About.com:Cars - Our Ten Favorite Fuel-Efficient Cars
Hybrid Cars - Behind the Hidden Costs of Hybrid