Are the ultra high gas prices hurting you?



Powerful Pete

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May 29, 2004
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Careful Cranky, here we are talking about changing habits, not about changing fuel sources - most commutes in a city like Rome are rather short and I am certain 50% of car trips could be replaced by walking/cycling/using public transportation.

But no one is doing it. Everyone here prefers to drive and then park four cars abreast at the curbside (reducing the three lanes to half of one and further bottling up traffic).

And a lot of people complain and actually campaign against bike paths, as a waste of public funds which could go to build more roads/parking. :mad:
 

Aspergers

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Sep 22, 2006
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As I don't drive a car the high petrol prices don't hurt me day to day.

The only time the high petrol price hurts me is when I book an airline ticket.

The reason I book airline tickets is to go on multi day bike rides out side my stale.

keep cycling to stop using petrol
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Powerful Pete said:
The interesting thing is the inelasticity of demand, at least here in Italy. Everyone I know complains of high gas prices, but no one is driving less/using public or alternative modes of transportation. :confused:

Anecdotal evidence: I am in the market for a city bike to replace my second car, which I have just sold (also due to high gas prices, but I am weird and want to commute by bike). My LBS has confirmed that they are not seeing an increase in the sale of 'city/trekking/mtb' bikes at the moment.

So, I would agree that the price of oil will have to increase significantly beyond current levels of 130~140 USD per barrel before anyone considers changing habits. People everywhere have come to consider cheap gas as a God-given right, so that they continue to drive everywhere (even 500 meters to buy milk), another God-given right. The complaints in Europe are anti-Government - everyone is demanding a decline in taxes on fuel, although no one has proposed an alternative revenue stream for cash-strapped public coffers...

Interesting Pete.

I stayed in Dublin for a couple of days last week - a city where traffic congestion is notorious.
I would have assumed that unleaded petrol retailing at between €1.30 - €1.40
per litre would have seen some freeing up of the traffic congestion.
Not a bit of it!
Traffic is as congested as ever.
In mitigation, the public transport system in Dublin (and Ireland) is way behind the standards of European cities like London, Paris, Roma etc.
But even still I expected to see some drop off with the current price of petrol.
I agree with you the car habit is inelastic.

Where I live is way out in the countryside we have no public transport.
No buses at all.
nevertheless if we need to go to buy a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread, I'll go to the shop on the MTB.
personally I only use the car when I have no other option.
 

TheDarkLord

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Dec 24, 2007
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limerickman said:
Interesting Pete.

I stayed in Dublin for a couple of days last week - a city where traffic congestion is notorious.
I would have assumed that unleaded petrol retailing at between €1.30 - €1.40
per litre would have seen some freeing up of the traffic congestion.
Not a bit of it!
Traffic is as congested as ever.
In mitigation, the public transport system in Dublin (and Ireland) is way behind the standards of European cities like London, Paris, Roma etc.
But even still I expected to see some drop off with the current price of petrol.
I agree with you the car habit is inelastic.

Where I live is way out in the countryside we have no public transport.
No buses at all.
nevertheless if we need to go to buy a bottle of milk or a loaf of bread, I'll go to the shop on the MTB.
personally I only use the car when I have no other option.
What were the prices a few years back when oil was in the low double digits per barrel (I don't know the history of gas prices in Europe)? It is the percentage increase that really counts. There have been a number of articles where Americans have seen as beginning to change their habits, at least with regard to getting more fuel efficient cars as opposed to gas guzzlers. Keep in mind that gas prices there have increased by almost 2.5 times what it was several years back.
 

Crankyfeet

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TheDarkLord said:
What were the prices a few years back when oil was in the low double digits per barrel (I don't know the history of gas prices in Europe)? It is the percentage increase that really counts. There have been a number of articles where Americans have seen as beginning to change their habits, at least with regard to getting more fuel efficient cars as opposed to gas guzzlers. Keep in mind that gas prices there have increased by almost 2.5 times what it was several years back.
When I came to the US late 2001... it was about $1.00 per gallon... now it's about $4.00 per gallon.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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TheDarkLord said:
What were the prices a few years back when oil was in the low double digits per barrel (I don't know the history of gas prices in Europe)? It is the percentage increase that really counts. There have been a number of articles where Americans have seen as beginning to change their habits, at least with regard to getting more fuel efficient cars as opposed to gas guzzlers. Keep in mind that gas prices there have increased by almost 2.5 times what it was several years back.

In 2003 (because I did a lot of mileage that year), petrol prices were €0.82 per litre over here.
Crude prices were about €35.00 per barrel back in 2003.
 

TheDarkLord

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Crankyfeet said:
When I came to the US late 2001... it was about $1.00 per gallon... now it's about $4.00 per gallon.
I wasn't keeping track of prices in 2001. So, that's a factor of 4.

limerickman said:
In 2003 (because I did a lot of mileage that year), petrol prices were €0.82 per litre over here.
Crude prices were about €35.00 per barrel back in 2003.
In contast, it appears that the prices in Europe have risen by less than a factor of 2. So maybe that's one of the reasons why driving behavior in Europe have changed less than in US (assuming that the articles in the news sites are true that is)?
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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TheDarkLord said:
In contast, it appears that the prices in Europe have risen by less than a factor of 2. So maybe that's one of the reasons why driving behavior in Europe have changed less than in US (assuming that the articles in the news sites are true that is)?

The other factor is that the Euro is strong vis-a-vis the dollar, for the past 12 months
So European retailers (gas stations) buy dollars, using euros, to purchase oil.
The strong euro, has offset somewhat the increase (in dollars) in petrol prices.
 

lwedge

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Mar 3, 2004
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70mpg


2007-Suzuki-Burgman400b.jpg
 

Pendejo

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lwedge said:
Yes, and about $6000 new, plus insurance every year, plus your decent chance of eventually being knocked off it and messed up by a gas-guzzling car. Now, if you have one instead of a car, then it makes financial sense. The hybrids are also not the answer. The premium they charge for one erases their better gas mileage.
 

gemship

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Sep 19, 2006
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Pendejo said:
Yes, and about $6000 new, plus insurance every year, plus your decent chance of eventually being knocked off it and messed up by a gas-guzzling car. Now, if you have one instead of a car, then it makes financial sense. The hybrids are also not the answer. The premium they charge for one erases their better gas mileage.


I ride a Honda Ruckus, it cost 2049 us dollars new. It gets at least 100mpg and because its under 49cc there you don't have to get insurance in the state of Ma. I can take all backroads to work and it only takes a extra 5 minutes compared to my truck. Scooters rule :cool:

Not to mention it is helping me nurse a achilles tendonitis injury.
 

TheDarkLord

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gemship said:
I ride a Honda Ruckus, it cost 2049 us dollars new. It gets at least 100mpg and because its under 49cc there you don't have to get insurance in the state of Ma. I can take all backroads to work and it only takes a extra 5 minutes compared to my truck. Scooters rule :cool:

Not to mention it is helping me nurse a achilles tendonitis injury.
Do you ride it during winter though?
 

Crankyfeet

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Pendejo said:
...The hybrids are also not the answer. The premium they charge for one erases their better gas mileage.
Yes... but it's all about your carbon footprint in the Age of Warming... :D
 

JTE83

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Scooters are nice, but I don't need one in the city of Chicago. Every city place I go there is bikeable. Suburban jobs, yeah, the Burgman 400 would be great.

Houston - I'd rather drive in comfort and safety in my 44 mpg 1999 Civic HX.
 

TheDarkLord

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I don't know how bad Houston is, but some Texas cities are supposed to be bad for driving if you have a small car (due to harrassment from drivers with larger cars).
 

Powerful Pete

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Pendejo said:
Yes, and about $6000 new, plus insurance every year, plus your decent chance of eventually being knocked off it and messed up by a gas-guzzling car. Now, if you have one instead of a car, then it makes financial sense. The hybrids are also not the answer. The premium they charge for one erases their better gas mileage.
Rome (actually Italy) is full of these. Convenient, cheaper to operate, easy to park anywhere.

And hybrids I do not get. Not much of a mileage improvement (actually, more or less equivalent if I recall correctly) to a good modern diesel a la multijet. You just get that fuzzy feeling from paying more for your car and the do-gooder environmental feeling.
 

gemship

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TheDarkLord said:
Do you ride it during winter though?

No, I chicken out. It just gets too cold, the New England winter.Then again if I had a fairing.lol. I stop riding after the 2nd week of November. My commuter is 13 miles each way to work. I just started using it as of april 1st, so I suppose the realistic riding season should easily last 8 months. Not bad.
 

alienator

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Powerful Pete said:
And hybrids I do not get. Not much of a mileage improvement (actually, more or less equivalent if I recall correctly) to a good modern diesel a la multijet. You just get that fuzzy feeling from paying more for your car and the do-gooder environmental feeling.

Unfortunately that do-gooder environmental thing is the one that's going to screw everyone once we pass the point of no return. I kinda care about the world my daughter and the other kids are going to inherit