We want to know what YOU think about the Off Campus Mavericks’ weekly commuter issue. Tell us what you what to know, leave a comment about what you think, share information with other commuter students, and more! If you want to submit an issue that you as a commuter are facing and would like feedback on how to address or overcome those problems, send us an email at offcampus@uta.edu or fill out the Commuter Issue of the Week submission papers found at the Off Campus Mavericks Center and leave your comment in the drop boxes.

COMMUTER ISSUE OF THE WEEK

HIGH GAS PRICES MAKING COMMUTERS DITCH CARS- ARE YOU WALKING?

Via ABC News Report and the U.S. Engery Department, the average price of regular gas is $3.79. That’s an increase of about 11 cents from last week, and 93 cents from a year ago. Gas prices are now the highest they’ve ever been during the month of April in the U.S. and the highest nominal price since 1990!

As the average gas price of gas moves closer to $4 a gallon, have drivers finally reached the point where they will switch to smaller/efficent cars or better yet try letting go of them altogether? Drivers in general can be very resistant to changing their daily habits and behaviors, but gas prices are continuously taking a toll on many American’s wallets. A spokesperson for the American Public Transportation Authority said, “As gas prices rise, consumers get accustomed to it. As you start moving towards $3.50 and $4, that’s the point when people start to see there’s a cheaper way to get around.”
Gas and oil prices have been increasing because of the unrest in the Middle East (oil producing regions like Libya) which has pushed oil to $109.92, most likely to increase. According to the Lundberg Survey of fuel prices, Tuscon, AZ has the lowest average gas price in the U.S. at $3.41, while San Francisco has the highest price at $4.13- which drivers will be bracing themselves as summer quickly approaches.  Gas prices will increase during summer due to good weather and vacation travel driving which cause the demand to average about 5% higher than the year norm. When this happens, the U.S. average gas price will be approximently $3.98 according to the U.S. Energy Department.
The best example of commuters nation-wide trying to cut costs and save money is the switch to public transportation (quickest way to cut costs). If gas prices rise to $4, the U.S. can expect to see 670 million passengers move towards public transportation…if $5, the U.S. will see an increase of 1.5 billion passenagers according to the American Public Transportation Authority.
People are starting to look more into fuel-efficent vehicels, hybrids, or plug-in electric cars.  Via Consumer Reports, the Honda Fit was rated the best value in the small car category at $16,000 with a focus on fuel efficency.  Moving closer to work, school, family, and locations where many essential needs can be met are also a growing trend in the U.S.
Will YOU drive less? Are increasing gas prices moving towards your wallet’s tipping point? Off Campus Mavericks wants to know how you are dealing with increased gas prices as a student, Arlington resident, and commuter.