Aren’t you glad you live in the city?

Gas is going up and this is one of the few moments when I’m happy not to be dependent on a car. Of course the high price of gas makes everything that has to get shipped here via truck & plane higher, but I don’t fret over the daily changes in the price of gas.
I am thankful that there is a grocery store blocks from the house to complain about. Thankful that there is a bus system that can get me from various parts of the city streaming through the hood. Even more thankful for a subway system. Basically, thankful for all the things here that make it so I haven’t needed to own a car for over 10 years.

11 thoughts on “Aren’t you glad you live in the city?”

  1. I think the gas prices going up is fantastic…may they soar to 10 dollars or more. People were complaining in the paper that they had to limit their trips to the shop…had to share rides…that they had to think before going for a drive…that they were considering buying a hybrid or using public transport. In my book this is all brilliant news…If gas prices went up further then maybe they’d have to do more ‘thinking’!!


  2. Hold on there partner, let’s not get crazy. I think US gas prices should not exceed European gas prices, $10 bucks is well over the price some guy in Paris is paying, which is about $6.25 a gallon. Yes, Americans in general have taken cheap gas for granted and think of it more as a birthright. So we tend to jump in the car for every little reason, running all over town spending $1 in gas to save 50 cents on soap. It is good when we stop and think about all the energy we waste. And now about this time someone cue the arguement of how higher gas prices hurt the working poor….

  3. I just wanted to put in a curious observation about the gas in our neighborhood…it’s actually the cheapest in the city (as of my search to fill my car up on Tuesday). The Hess on RI & NJ was only at $2.87…meanwhile at Lowest Price across the street they were listing $3.59. The owners must be smoking the crack that gets sold there!

  4. Hey, I may be a car loving Virginian, but let me tell you how happy I am that my car, with it’s full tank is sitting safe at home, and Metro, with assistance from the DASH bus, delivers me to and from work.

    I don’t think it will be $10. But it’s real nice to live where I don’t have to drive much.*

    *Theoretically at all, but I flat out refuse to go to the effort to haul home dog food on the bus.

  5. Nora,
    Is the CVS across the street still open? Does it carry dog food? If it does you can weigh the pros and cons of how much it costs to drive vs the higher price for dog chow.

  6. As a Zipcar member (and full disclosure, an employee) I havn’t had to pay for a drop of gas for 7 months now.)

    We’ve seen an increase in membership in the city, in part due to the quality of the service, but also the fact that Zipcar members do not pay for gas or insurance.

    We also are adding more cars and parking locations throughout the city to increase the convenience and access to the service and our 25 different types of vehicles by the hour of day.

    More information is available at

    I grew up in Annandale VA, but thank god I live in the city, and can walk to work everyday!

  7. re: JumboChic’s comments…I heard something on the news the other day, because people were noticing that brand-name gas stations were cheaper than “no-name” stations like crown, lowest price, etc. The reason is that no-names buy gas from a secondary market where the big oil companies sell their surplus. Since there isn’t a surplus, that market has dried up, & they are left out to dry. So for right now, gas may be cheaper at a branded station.

    Gas prices will retreat a bit after katrina, but they will keep going up because world demand is exceeding supply. What you don’t hear often in the news is the amount of cars coming online every day in the third world, especially India & China. They are basically going through our 1940/50/60s period right now, but they have over 1 billion people each. So by all means, I would recommend a fuel efficient car or mass transit!

  8. Just how much is a benefit is it to live in the city when we hafta drive to Arlington to shop? I find the “savings” of living in the city is more than offset by the poor service and time lost in using DC businesses or services. 45 minutes to get OJ on a Sunday morning at the 7th Street Giant? Or how about “We don’t do that”? Also, I can’t count how many times I have had to drive to Arlington because the Home Depot in DC doesn’t have it but the one in Arlington does. The Result is a COST INCREASE to live in the city.

  9. Re some comments on pricing…I work for BigOil, so full disclosure…but FYI: Unbrnaded staions (Lowest Price, etc) do draw their product from the same stations as Exxon, Shell, etc. It is cheaper because it has no detergents in it, which really do increase MPG and keep your engine clean. They also obviously don’t pay for marketing, but the flip side is they don’t enoy the same economies of scale as the majors. It’s OK to buy from them, but you should use major branded gas occasionally for the detergents. Anyway, the terminals where they pick up gas are probably owned by a major. However, in a shortage, there is a good chance, if the unbranded station has a requirements contract with the terminal, that ALL gas is allocated, meaning the unbranded gets 60% of its usual take, just like the others. The reason unbranded stations are charging higher is actually more complicated.

    When you look at a Shell station, it can be either company owned or dealer owned (Im simplifying). A dealer is like a franchisee and can charge wha it wants. Company owned stores in a shortage are far less likely to raise prices, because of the very real PR concerns. Unbranded stations on the other hand will raise to whatever the market will bear, because they can and because they have a lot of good will buit up.

    Hope that helps a little

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