The news is filled with stories on high gas prices. Our local news gives daily reports on how much the have risen in one day, with less mentions if they went down.
I filled up at my local gas station last week and paid $6.09 a gallon. For those who do not live in California, our gas prices are typically the highest in the country and get higher in the summer. When we moved here in the summer of 2015, I was paying about $4.50 a gallon.
We are a two-car family. Mike drives to work Monday through Friday, except during the summer when he is off, being a teacher. I drive a lot less and try to ride my bike or walk everywhere. My goal, one I often meet, is to drive one day a week. We’re fortunate to live in a community where most of our needs are super close, like food shopping, restaurants, coffee spots, hair cut places, our dentists, and our gym.
The reason I wanted to write this post is that I keep reading about potential state and federal government solutions to the high gas prices, typically beginning with a freeze on gas taxes or money to citizens to help ease the pain of the gas prices. With gas companies making wild profits these days, it seems like government aiding with more purchases of gas would only benefit the gas companies, with little relief to people.
I’ll admit that this is definitely an area I don’t know a lot about. I do see that families are suffering and because of the gas prices they have a lot less money to spend on other things, like food, rent/mortgage, and their family.
So here are my thoughts on solutions for people who are being affected by gas prices:
First, check to see what gas companies can do to lower the gas prices, if they even would.
Next, drive less. Is it possible? Can you combine different trips into one? For example, if you have to drive to work, can you do errands on the way home so you don’t have to make more trips later? Can you keep your car parked certain day(s)? Our local drive-thru Starbucks has a huge line every day. All of that idling adds up. Can you and the kids ride your bikes to soccer practice?
Bicycles! I use mine almost every day. They are not possible for everyone, and yes, the streets in many places (LA County, for example) are not all that friendly to bike riding. I do think that many people could ride a bike for an errand or outing rather than drive. And the more people that ride their bikes perhaps the more atention bike and pedestrian safety would get from electeds. Imagine communites where there were so many protected bike lanes that you and your family could bike to one of your destinations and feel safe doing so?!
What about electric bikes? They seem to be more and more popular. Can the government (state, local, county, federal) offer some type of rebate for the purchase of electric bikes?
I’m fortunate to be able to work from home. Because of this I drive very little. For those who can work from home, working from home and not driving one day a week can make a big difference in the amount of gas you use.
I’ll stop there. If you’re still reading, thanks a lot. I’m hoping this post is helpful.
I hope that governments can be more creative with this problem and bring forward solutions that will help people, and help people continuously. I don’t thing buying more gas and making gas companies richer is the answer.
Thank you for reading!