Friday, May 23, 2008

Fuel Fuming

"Soaring Toward Insanity". I wish I would have come up with it. It's the lead headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, talking about gas prices. Seriously. This is out of control. It seems like we're doing what we're supposed to. We're carpooling. We're combining trips. We're buying more fuel-efficient cars. This is a joke. How can prices keep going up like this? Will those hearings in Washington, D.C. actually accomplish something? What can we consumers do? Better yet, what can elected officials do?

My family had some really lean years (that's saying this euphemistically) during the recession in the late 70s. I remember how tough it was for my mom and dad putting food on the table, paying the heating bill, finding a car that would run, etc. I really don't honestly see how lower-income people can do it right now. Food prices are good up a bunch. Gas prices are ridiculous. I just don't see how they do it.

I did a story yesterday on the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority. The Rideshare program seems like a no brainer. DART gives you a van, if you want to be the driver. You get free transportation and free gas, plus you get 200 personal miles a month. I interviewed a human relations guy from Principal yesterday. He figures he saves about 4 grand a year plus. And it only "costs" him about 15 minutes extra time in the a.m. picking up the other passengers. Seems like quite a deal. And his passengers pay monthly fee to DART. It works out to be roughly about a quarter as much as they'd spend if they drove themselves to work solo every day.

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