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zenstyle

gas prices high?

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On my way to a dog job today, I scooter past a gas station with $3.15 posted for regular. "Finally!" I think to myself. So, why are there still a zillion cars on the local streets with one person in each car? What's the magic number before riders and passengers double up? Any prognostications?

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I sat on a bench this afternoon at Cherry, Lake Drive, and Diamond SE. I saw one person get off the Rapid, and two girls out walking. I was amazed at how may people I recognized driving by, that could easily have used mass transit or non-motorized transit to get from A to B. It was a beautiful afternoon, and so many people, in so many cars.

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Gas prices are still in the "well, if I'm buying a new car, perhaps we should consider something that gets better mileage honey" stage.

Sustained prices in the $5/gal right might (MIGHT) get people thinking about living closer to their jobs.

Without people living closer to their jobs, you're still going to get a majority of people driving cars.

Plus, this is still Michigan and a sizeable plurality of GR-area residents are involved in the car business in one way or another.

We'll be prying the steering wheel from their cold dead hands. :)

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On my way to a dog job today, I scooter past a gas station with $3.15 posted for regular. "Finally!" I think to myself. So, why are there still a zillion cars on the local streets with one person in each car? What's the magic number before riders and passengers double up? Any prognostications?

I think it would be difficult to discern any measurable amount of changes in driver habits by standing on the sidewalk or sitting on a bench watching cars go by. Can you determine if 10% more people are carpooling? Or would it be more like 50% more before you could tell a change in traffic numbers?

I'm sure a few people, like me, have days that are much more complicated than: Drive to work, park car all day, drive home. But, FWIW, I am carpooling with the neighbors tomorrow morning for a couple of things. :thumbsup:

The one thing gas prices have hurt (noticeably) is the tourism industry. I can tell that during the times we've been Up North so far this Summer that the number of vacationers is way down (especially boat traffic).

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i am one person that isn't upset to see gas prices rise -- at some point it will finally break the country into developing alternate/cleaner fuels and more efficient mass transit - at least light rail for cities like GR.

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The thing of it is... I only have an eight mile commute one way to work each day so that little bit of city driving isn't going to break me. I usually put forth a small amount of gas per week and while the gas prices have hurt, they haven't exceeded my weekly budget. Yet anyways. Have I took less trips out of town? Yes, but I still wouldn't use any form of mass transit when I can hop in my own car and go when and where I please.

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The thing of it is... I only have an eight mile commute one way to work each day so that little bit of city driving isn't going to break me. I usually put forth a small amount of gas per week and while the gas prices have hurt, they haven't exceeded my weekly budget. Yet anyways. Have I took less trips out of town? Yes, but I still wouldn't use any form of mass transit when I can hop in my own car and go when and where I please.

:blush: ouch thats going to leave a mark...

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The thing of it is... I only have an eight mile commute one way to work each day so that little bit of city driving isn't going to break me. I usually put forth a small amount of gas per week and while the gas prices have hurt, they haven't exceeded my weekly budget. Yet anyways. Have I took less trips out of town? Yes, but I still wouldn't use any form of mass transit when I can hop in my own car and go when and where I please.

Just make sure please, that you stop on red before turning right, so you don't hit me crossing the street. Oh, and if you can please be patient as I scoot down the street at 25-30 mph, I would appreciate it. My last request is that while some of us are riding the Rapid, that you don't wait for the bus to stop before changing lanes, as you are delaying us from getting back on the street.

Thanks, I'll make sure to wave at you from the back of the bus....

GridGirl

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I hate to take mass transit also, I used to have too use it or walk, it sucks, no thanks. I like going when and where I want to quickly, I also just like to drive.

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I hate to take mass transit also, I used to have too use it or walk, it sucks, no thanks. I like going when and where I want to quickly, I also just like to drive.

Ah, but gas prices will go only in one direction, towards the stratosphere. Thus, when gas is at $10.00 a gallon and one is forced to make a hard choice between buying a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread for the kids or fueling the car to get to work, I would love to ask, "So how do you feel about taking the bus, now?" I think we'll soon see a shift towards public transit options. We're seeing the begining signs of that now as the Rapid is seeing a record number of riders. Sure it sucks to take the bus. But as gas continues to explore the lofty heavens of financial expense, there won't be any other affordable choice but to use public transportation...unless your last name is Rockafeller or Vanderbuilt.

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I so wish a bus came down to Wayland, so I wouldn't have to spend $13 in gas just to go to work and back. (Borrowing my parent's spare vehicle.. a gas guzzler... because my car is undriveable)

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Ah, but gas prices will go only in one direction, towards the stratosphere. Thus, when gas is at $10.00 a gallon ...

I don't think that's the case. If the Middle East stabalizes to a certain degree, prices will come falling down. If you look at how price of gas has risen over the past few years, it conincides directly with the war in Iraq. Iraq isn't producing any oil right now, it is actually importing more than it exports.

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On my way to a dog job today, I scooter past a gas station with $3.15 posted for regular. "Finally!" I think to myself. So, why are there still a zillion cars on the local streets with one person in each car? What's the magic number before riders and passengers double up? Any prognostications?

In a perfect world, we would all double up. Actually, I do double up... I carpool with someone to my classes at Cooley in Lansing every weekend. It's been wonderful. Not only does it help with the gas, but I have great company for the time it takes to get to and from Lansing.

As for gas prices, Americans have been spoiled. In Europe they've been paying outrageous prices for years. Back in 1997 when I visited relatives in Greece, I was excited to see a sign advertising petrol for 1.75 (waaaay back then), not realizing that it was the price for a LITER, not a gallon.

We think nothing of paying $3+ for a cup of coffee, but when it comes to fuel, well you know the rest.

I put off errands until I have enough to make one trip instead of the back and forth.

I would love to be able to scooter to work, but it just doesn't work when I have lots to carry and my job is way out in BFE (Cascade... WHY did my employer move out HERE when we had a perfectly wonderful office in the Waters Building???? and I could walk home for lunch). Too much traffic!!! And they show no mercy. Taking a scooter to work would put anyone's life in peril out here. I thought it was bad walking across the street. You wouldn't believe how many times I've almost been hit by an inattentive driver.

And in winter months, the scooter thing wouldn't work well. Zenstyle, what do you do in the winter?

Budgie

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Just think if the US joined the rest of the world and went with the Metric system?

Gas prices on billboards would be ~ 80 cents per litre...

actually that would probably not help matters...

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I agree that there should be more public transportation but not just because the price of gas is high.

Public transportation is a good thing in any economic climate. Also, the cleaner the public transportation...the better.

Extremely high gas prices, say $10.00 per gallon would force people to think of alternative transportation means but it also would mean that the economy would tank bigger than ever due to transportation costs. But then again maybe commerce has to find an alternative to petroleum based transportation too...

CO2 powered rail??

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"Zenstyle, what do you do in the winter?"

I scooter until there is actual snow or ice on the streets.

When that happens, I walk, take the bus, or drive the husband-mobile, his schedule permitting.

I figure by riding in cold weather, I'm modeling for other would-be scooterists that it's serious transportation; not just a fun, fair-weather option.

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In a perfect world, we would all double up. Actually, I do double up... I carpool with someone to my classes at Cooley in Lansing every weekend. It's been wonderful. Not only does it help with the gas, but I have great company for the time it takes to get to and from Lansing.

As for gas prices, Americans have been spoiled. In Europe they've been paying outrageous prices for years. Back in 1997 when I visited relatives in Greece, I was excited to see a sign advertising petrol for 1.75 (waaaay back then), not realizing that it was the price for a LITER, not a gallon.

We think nothing of paying $3+ for a cup of coffee, but when it comes to fuel, well you know the rest.

I put off errands until I have enough to make one trip instead of the back and forth.

I would love to be able to scooter to work, but it just doesn't work when I have lots to carry and my job is way out in BFE (Cascade... WHY did my employer move out HERE when we had a perfectly wonderful office in the Waters Building???? and I could walk home for lunch). Too much traffic!!! And they show no mercy. Taking a scooter to work would put anyone's life in peril out here. I thought it was bad walking across the street. You wouldn't believe how many times I've almost been hit by an inattentive driver.

And in winter months, the scooter thing wouldn't work well. Zenstyle, what do you do in the winter?

Budgie

Americans have been spoiled with cheap gas, that is true. In GR, for many people, the bus isn't a feasible option yet, because its slow. In my case, I can drive to work in 15 minutes. If I take the bus, I would ride for 30-45 minutes to the transit center, then I'd have to hoof it all the way across DT because there is no bus that runs through N Monroe. I'll fork out the cash for gas and save myself 2.5 hours of commuting per day, thanks.

Some of us think $3 for a cup of coffee is outrageous. A regular cup of coffee should never exceed 75 cents if you ask me.

But I can honestly say that I am very cautious when it comes to keeping pedestrians/cyclists in mind. ;)

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"Zenstyle, what do you do in the winter?"

I scooter until there is actual snow or ice on the streets.

When that happens, I walk, take the bus, or drive the husband-mobile, his schedule permitting.

I figure by riding in cold weather, I'm modeling for other would-be scooterists that it's serious transportation; not just a fun, fair-weather option.

Zen...how long is your commute to work?

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For me there is no way I could use public transportation. I drive from Jenison to Ada every day and once I am at work I may have to go to the airport then to Holland, then to Zeeland back to Ada then out to Lowell. I had talked about car pooling but my schedule and the person that I would car pool with would not work. If I just sat at work in front of my desk all day I would defenitely consider public transportation. And there is no way that my wife would move to Ada, Lowell or the Forest Hills area.

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Question:

How many of you get subsidized for public transportation by your employer or other entity?

Does anyone get free public transportation perks?

When I lived in Seattle, my employer subsidized my quarterly bus pass. I would have taken public transportation regardless of this. This of course was back in 1999 & 2000 when economy was robust.

I also totally agree with Torgo's last reply.

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"Zen...how long is your commute to work?"

john denver, I travel to the homes of my dog-walking clients, all of whom are within a five-mile radius of my house in Eastown. So, I'm not one of the folks stuck with a surburban commute, in case you were wondering.

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I was in NYC recently where, of course, mass transit is readily available and is used more rather than less. I walked everywhere I went vs taking a cab or the bus . . .it was great . .but it was summer . . .I don't know that I would be digging that in sub zero temps w/ snow and/or rain blowing all over you on your way to work . . .that being said, it would be nice to get rid of the car and hoof it or cab/bus it everywhere. I am all for reducing emissions and saving this environment. (and how do you solve that problem in large cities . .emissions most certainly are not being reduced w/ bumper to bumper traffic whether it is mass transit or otherwise) However, the reality of it is that we are not there yet in GR . . I work out in the freekin boonies and there is no way in heck I would ever move out here!

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"Zen...how long is your commute to work?"

john denver, I travel to the homes of my dog-walking clients, all of whom are within a five-mile radius of my house in Eastown. So, I'm not one of the folks stuck with a surburban commute, in case you were wondering.

That's cool!! I am glad the situation works for you.

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I so wish a bus came down to Wayland, so I wouldn't have to spend $13 in gas just to go to work and back. (Borrowing my parent's spare vehicle.. a gas guzzler... because my car is undriveable)

Bus fare from Wayland might be just as bad. The busses need gas too. :)

The 6 mile round trip bus fare from my house is $2.60 (unless I buy a pass).

I pay about $2/day for car insurance, $11/day to pay on my car loan and my 6 mile commute probably eats up about $0.75 in gas (at $3.15/gal).

So my per day car cost is roughly $13.75 whereas my per-day bus cost would be $2.60

The problem is that unless I sell my car, I'm still paying $13.00/day to have it sit in the garage so a bus-ride really costs me the $13.00 "car-in-garage" fee and the $2.60 round trip (or $15.60 per day to ride the bus vs. $13.75/day to drive the car).

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