Last night I filled up my car tank and it was only $24.81; I know, I know, I have a very small tank. Even when gas prices were well above $1 per litre, it was still in the low $30′s to fill up my tank. This Acura has been just about the most fuel efficient car I’ve owned and oddly enough it’s also probably the quickest car I’ve owned.
Gas prices are as cheap as they have been in what seems a very long time as a result of the Gulf of Mexico refineries being safe from hurricanes as well as the Middle East conflicts easing up for now.
But I’m reluctant to rejoice at the news of gas prices being sub-80 cents per litre. Part of the reason is because it doesn’t make too much of a difference to me; I have a fuel efficient car and I seldom use my car other than for vacations or driving to hockey.
The other reason is that high gas prices are encouragement for people to walk, bike, or ride transit, which helps increase the quality of our air; especially on those smog days in the summer when it feels like someone in the sky is smoking a big huge cigarette and blowing it in all our faces. I know when I owned a Jeep I tried to use my motorcycle as often as I could because of the high cost of gas. (Remembering the time I rode my motorcycle to hockey in Hamilton wearing half of my equipment while riding)
It would be nice if there was a way to increase taxes on gas for people who don’t drive for a living. The government should tax those people who decide to live 2 hours away from their work just so they can live in a big huge house with a bunch of empty rooms that they probably never use anyway. They should take that tax money and pump it into bicycle lanes and public transportation so that someday it will be cool to take the bus or subway to work, and the guy who drives a car to work is a sucker. York Region has made it cool to take the bus with their new Viva system. It’s a model that other cities will follow where there are real-time clocks telling you when the next bus is coming, dedicated bus lanes and right of way traffic lights for buses. It’s basically the future of public transportation.
That is my dream. It may be a dream right now, but I hope some day it will be a reality. I will try to do my part by lobbying politicians to see this dream through. In Toronto there are council members who have this same dream, but there are also many who oppose it.