I started a new job in January. With it, came a new first. A commute; a real, honest-to-goodness, round-trip drive of 40 miles a day.
It may seem hard to believe, but I’ve never had a commute before. Somehow I managed to avoid it. For the past 28 years – whether in Syracuse, Boston, or Atlanta – I’ve never driven more than 15 minutes to or from work. My world, by and large, was a 7-mile radius from my home. As a result, it didn’t seem to matter what type of car I drove or what kind of gas mileage it got. It wasn’t an issue and I simply didn’t care.
Well, I care now. Driving 40 miles a day translates into 200 miles a week. And, when I refuel on Sundays, I spend an average of $75 to fill the tank. That equates to $300 monthly; $3,600 yearly. Seriously? This is crazy…
If you currently live on the west coast, I know you understand what I’m feeling. An article in Wednesday’s Washington Post reports that “the price of gas has now risen for 20 consecutive days, with only three days of decline in the past three months.” With an average price of $4.00 in D.C., it is “surpassed only by Illinois, Alaska, California and Hawaii, where the average is $4.54 per gallon.” This is especially disturbing given that the summer, when prices are expected to hit $5.00 per gallon, is still two months away.
Why do we put up with this? Are we just lazy? Fatalistic? Are we unable to change our ways? Why is our nationwide economy so dependent upon petroleum? Can’t we find a better way? Most frustrating of all, aren’t we embarrassed by a dependence that causes us to import this expensive commodity from unfriendly countries? Countries, by the way, that dream of a world in which the State of Israel and the Jewish people no longer exist?
Well, I am turning off the cruise control. I’m not going to coast along passively anymore. I’ve decided to buy (or lease) a new car! My ultimate goal is to never go to a gas station again!!! So, first and foremost, I’ll research every available electric car choice (i.e. Nissan, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Ford). Then, if the “right” option for me is not yet feasible, I’ll check out all existing hybrid possibilities (i.e. the new Prius, Lexus, etc.). Either way, I am no longer going to drive a car that only gets 17 miles to the gallon.
Thankfully, my husband is supportive of my latest obsession. He’s even going with me on lots of test-drives this weekend. A new car will be in our garage by Memorial Weekend!
What are YOU driving?