It has been five weeks since we last put gas in the wife's car. We only drive the car now for special errands, which most often happen on the weekend. The wife has become adept at arranging quick trips to the market or Michaels or Chipotle's on the way home. She gets off one No. 82, does her quick trip and catches the next No. 82.
Yesterday, the wife had to drive to South Sacramento for a state promotion exam and today she had a half-dozen errands to do while I watched the Euro 2008 games. Those trips drained the last of the gas.
During halftime in the Germany-Poland match I drove to our neighborhood Safeway to fill the tank. As I placed the hose in the car and opened the nozzle, a huge, black Lincoln Navigator pulled up to the pump behind me. By the time the hose nozzle clicked shut in my car, the driver of the Navigator hadn't even started pumping. It must be a very painful experience to fill up a Lincoln Navigator today. This guy was certainly in no hurry.
The total damage for 10.381 gallons: $45.56. Since the last fill-up, we had driven the Honda Civic hybrid 443.2 miles, or a shade more than 42.69 mpg.
Clearly, taking the bus and light rail saves a lot of money. The only remaining argument against using transit is the extra time it takes to reach your destination. Personally, the time I get to read books on the bus and the lack of stress from not having to deal with commute traffic has always more than compensated for the extra time. Today, with gasoline well past $4 a gallon on its way to $5 a gallon, people like the owner of that black Lincoln Navigator must be sorely pressed to justify continuing to drive.
Sacramento Regional Transit needs to press its advantage. Every bus that doesn't already have an ad on it, should have a "house ad" reminding drivers that they are missing a good deal.