The price of gas and other commuting atrocities

“The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.”  ~Ralph Nader

imageI was sitting on the bus last night and happened to look up from my iPad to see miles of SOVs, bumper to bumper, moving about 20 miles an hour. The commuter bus zipped by them in the HOV lane at over 50 mph. Was it my imagination or did this people look tired, slumping in their seats, gripping the steering wheel and wishing they were some where, anywhere else?


“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” ~Steven Wright

At the last house we lived in for the last 11 years, we moved close enough to my work so that I could walk in every morning if I wanted to. Within a year my team moved eight miles down the road. I used that very frustrating occurrence to justify the purchase of a scooter. Riding 1 to 3 times a week I only needed to fill my 1.25 gal tank once a month.

This year we have seen the price of gas go over $5 a gallon. Yes, you read that correctly, $5. Interestingly enough Seattleites have also seen a toll introduced on one of the three only ways to get from the west to east side of Seattle. Oh, and lest I forget, the Seattle transit system cut runs on every bus line and removed others.

So when I moved to a new house farther from the city and started a job in downtown Seattle, I decided to do the Math. My monthly savings can be conservatively calculated at:

  • Orca Bus Card: $160 (paid for by work)
  • Fuel savings by not driving 23 miles each way X twice a day in rush hour (standing) traffic X a month: $300
  • Parking downtown: $250 a month
  • Time savings gained by using HOV lane: 5 hrs a week X $20 an hour X 4 weeks in a month: $400
  • Heath savings do to less stress from not driving in rush hour traffic: Priceless

“This morning, prompted by increasing concerns about terrorism, oil prices reached a record high as the cost of a barrel of crude is a whopping $44.34.  Wow, it seems shocking that a product of finite supply gets more expensive the more we use it.  Now the terror alert means higher oil prices, which oddly enough means higher profits for oil companies giving them more money to give to politicians whose policies may favor the oil companies such as raising the terror alert level.  As Simba once told us, “It’s the circle of life.”  ~Jon Stewart

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Bicycles, Community, Commuting, Ecology, Economics, Employment, Everyday Science, Getting a Job, Guides, Health and wellness, Humor, Politics, Seattle, Tips and Tricks, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The price of gas and other commuting atrocities

  1. tuckamoredew says:

    I’m happy that I can commute by bike along a pleasant route. However, my neighbourhood is less than ideal.

  2. Gandalfe says:

    You are a model to all would be bicycle commuters. Keep on spinning…

  3. Tina says:


    When I’m not flying across the country (I’m in Toronto this week), all I have to do is put on my slippers and walk across the hall. In today’s www-connected world, more companies should institute remote-home-working. It would save everyone bunches of time & money. It also increases productivity… no more long breaks by the water cooler talking sports scores…

  4. Gandalfe says:

    And I bet they are bunny slippers too. No, no, amend that; husky slippers. Now that’s the ticket! ;0)

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