Just how much is the ever-increasing price of gasoline affecting your traveling? If you're like most of us, you're feeling it, and sometimes it causes you to cut back, or maybe even eliminate, trips.
At the very least, you may have thought about alternatives. Consider this:
“How much money do these oil companies need until they realize we can't afford them anymore? We've got three kids and the wife and I both work. Two of the kids will be driving age pretty soon and they are trying to save money to buy cars. But I told them they were going to have money for gas, too, and that could cost them as much in a year as they would pay for a decent car. We have to take the kids to their sports events and other necessary places and we've already cut back on anything that could be an ‘extra' trip. It makes me want to consider bicycles, scooters, or something else, like maybe even a horse and buggy. Seriously. Enough is enough.”
I hear you, Jay, and you certainly are not alone in your thinking. You can hear stories such as yours throughout the country from people who are ready for a deceleration of the price at the pump.
I recently had just read a story about pump prices expected to fall a bit when I noticed that the gas at the station I use had gone up a nickel a gallon. Two days later, it jumped another 9 cents. By the next week, it had climbed 13 cents more. By the next weekend, it had dropped 3 cents. I guess that was the “bit” of decline in prices that had been anticipated.
But then it really took off. Two days into the new week, it rose 12 cents a gallon. Five days later, it had climbed another 5 cents. By that weekend, it was up 8 cents more. And early the next week, it was up 3 cents additionally.
That's 47 cents a gallon in 20 days! I asked someone affiliated with the oil industry why the big rise. His response: “Because you and I will pay for it and use it.”
His honesty didn't make me feel any better. Quite the opposite, actually, even though it was true.
Then, a news release from a national transportation agency crossed my path. OK, it came through my email.
“As gas prices rise, savings for public transit riders increase,” the headline said. “Riding public transportation saves individuals $9,917 a year.”
I read on.
“WASHINGTON, D.C. — For those dealing with the 30-cent increase in gas prices from last month, taking public transportation instead of driving can be your Silver Linings Playbook,” the release began. Obviously, the writer didn't live where I do. Remember? The increase in my area was 47 cents a gallon.
“According to the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) February Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $826 this month, and $9,917 annually. These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle, which includes the Feb. 12, 2013, average national gas price ($3.60 per gallon, reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.”
“It's worthy of consideration,” I thought to myself. Public transportation. Ride the bus.
Some public transportation rides are very inexpensive, others are totally free, a veteran rider told me. “And I don't have to get hit riding a bicycle in heavy traffic or buy a horse and buggy,” I thought.
Saving money — and fuel — by using public transportation has other benefits. That makes other journeys affordable.
It's worth considering.
By the way ...
If your city or town has public transportation, check it out and you just might make the ride.
To calculate your individual savings, with or without car ownership, go to www.publictransportation.org.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.