They Say 35% Less People are Driving Because of Gas Prices, But I Don’t Believe It
I heard on the radio this morning that a study had been done as a result of the increase in gas prices and the report results are that 35% less people are driving and more people are taking the bus and walking.
This morning when I drove to work, it took me an hour and fifteen minutes. Usually the drive takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, but never does it exceed that much time. And all last week when we were stuck driving downtown for TIFF in rush hour the traffic SUCKED. So tell me how it could take so long when there’s 35% less people driving?
I only drive my car on the days when I work late – for meetings or presentations or what have you. It works out to about four times a month which averages out to approximately one day a week. The rest of the time I take the bus and then the subway – it takes a little bit longer but the length of time is consistent, I don’t have to deal with the traffic stress, I get to knit or read, and lately with the gas prices, it’s been cheaper than driving (even with the fact that I don’t have to pay for parking at work). And by taking the bus, it’s one of those things that helps the environment. Smog alert and the city is encouraging people to take transit? No problem, I prefer it this way anyway.
So for the most part the fluctuation in gas prices hasn’t really been bothering me and I don’t know how much sympathy I can muster up for people that are constantly complaining (especially people that are forced to spend $100 to fill up their gas-guzzling SUVs and mini-vans). The GTA has one of the most sprawling, accessible transit systems and you can get downtown from almost anywhere outside Toronto. Sure it takes a little bit longer but it’s CHEAPER. I pay $8 a day to commute on the bus, so for anyone spending more than $40 a week to sit in stop and go traffic, they’re losing money.
(And you can help the environment. And you can be less stressed out when you get to work and then you’re that much less of a jerk. Everybody wins!)
On a side note – I do feel sorry for the people in Halifax. I heard on the radio this morning that they’re predicting gas prices in Halifax to hit 1.98. Ouch. And Halifax has probably one of the most inconvenient transit systems that I’ve ever experienced – it’s too small but also too sprawling to really have a subway, and with the bus routes being what they are (as far as I know the 80 still traverses the Bedford Highway), people in Halifax and the surrounding areas are really forced to drive everywhere they go. I won’t get into the challenges I faced all through university with taking the bus but I will say that it SUCKED to have to take an hour bus ride from downtown to Sackville and then have to wait around for one of my parents to show up – and when it was my father doing me the parental favor, not only would he show up late but then he’d have to pick up just “a few groceries” since he was there. So not only would I have worked a 12 hour day, and gotten up at 6 to be there for 8, but I would then have to follow my father at painstakingly slow pace through the grocery store. Some days, it would be well after 10 when I got home and I got off work at 8, only to have to do it again the next morning.
(And I don’t know why he couldn’t have gotten the groceries BEFORE I got off the bus, so don’t bother asking).
Anyhow. I’m done :).