Rising gas prices and high levels of unemployment continue to weigh on the American economy. Smart Growth America asked for stories about how high gas prices are affecting your life, and we heard many stories about how expensive gas is making your professional life more challenging. With gas costing $4 gallon or more, workers are feeling the pain when it comes to commuting, meeting with clients around town, going to conferences, or even looking for a job.
- A gallon of gas costs $4.11 for Carisa in Illinois, so in addition to carpooling more, she has to be very selective about which meetings and marketing events she absolutely must attend for work, and she said she’s still not getting to all of them. She’s reconsidering her attendance at some out of town conferences. She cannot reach her clients downtown without a car, so driving is a must for her.
- An anonymous contributor from Northern California, where gas is $4.17 per gallon, is looking for a job and said the high gas prices are limiting the search.
- Faced with $4.50 for a gallon of gas, Umi in Hawaii recently started carpooling the three-hour round-trip commute with a coworker. Even though the coworker’s shift ends an hour later, she “sacrifice[s] a little sleep and the personal convenience of leaving on my time table” to save money. Public buses are unreliable and intermittent in her hometown, and filling up just 3/4 of her tank costs more than $60.
A consistent theme throughout these stories is that transportation choices can help people and communities cope with rising gas prices. We’ve heard from people who are using public transportation or biking to work – or to look for work, for those who are unemployed – as driving becomes more expensive.
Part of Smart Growth America’s work is helping great communities have more low cost options for getting around when gas prices get too high, but we need to hear from you to do it. How much does gas cost in your area? What are you doing to cope with the high prices of gas? If you don’t drive often, or at all, how do you get around? Smart Growth America is helping more people have the option of shorter drives and more ways to get around when they want it. Click here to tell us your story.