Hi 81 / Lo 73
|Volume 71, Issue 12,
Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Lourdes Castillo James Davis
Avoiding gas cost easy, but no one wants to
At what point do the nation's drivers pull up to the gas station, take one look at the price of regular unleaded and say to themselves, "Aw, hell no"?
Apparently it wasn't the $3 mark. Maybe when it hits $4 we'll see some uproar, some people actually looking for alternatives. Or will we?
Americans seem to be awfully complacent when it comes to paying for gas, the veritable lifeblood of the modern economy. Whether it's getting to work, school or home, we need the stuff to get where we need to be. Our dependence on it is crippling, increasingly so for our bank accounts. Complaints may run high, but we eventually grow accustomed to shelling out $30, $40 or $50 to burn ? literally. And should some of us complain when we gladly pay $4 for a cup of fancy coffee?
If you aren't already, now's the time to start planning for some alternatives. That doesn't mean ditching your SUV for a tiny hybrid car, but it does mean thinking about carpooling or mass transit ? or maybe even riding a bike.
Granted, none one of those ideas may be appealing at all, save for the monetary savings, but with the cooperation of the city and campus, these options might make more sense. The city's bus and rail system isn't as useful as many major cities' systems, but if more residents clamored for services, officials would likely be more prompt in implementing new routes and better service. Just having more buses in service and longer operating hours, would make mass transit that much more effective.
UH could offer incentives to carpoolers, like guaranteed parking spaces to cars carrying more than two people (think of it like an HOV lane for UH parking lots). Maybe drivers of hybrids could get a break on the cost of permits.
Of course, no one in the position to make these changes will do it unless there's some demand for it. Unfortunately, the only demand these days is for more of the same ? more gas, at whatever cost.
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