- Gitmo’s first commander: Close the prison down
- Google’s newest photography find: Just wink and shoot
- Detroit’s Heidelberg art project hit by 8 fires in 8 months
- Pa. police pull people over for random DNA tests for feds
- NASA pushing hard to get back into space game
- Harvard student to face federal charges for bomb hoax
- Ronnie Biggs of ‘Great Train Robbery’ fame dies, 84
- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
D.C. commute wallops wallet
Rising oil prices, widespread congestion and long commutes propelled travel costs in the Washington region to a third-place ranking among the nation’s major metro areas, according to a survey by Forbes magazine.
The average D.C. commuter pays $6.32 per day in gas costs, according to the Forbes survey, which was conducted earlier this month.
“It is really bad for me because I work for a nonprofit agency and have to drive sometimes 30 miles per day,” Rita Smith said yesterday as she fueled up at the Lowest Price gas station on New York Avenue Northeast, where a gallon of regular gas cost $3.73.
“Once it gets to be $4 dollars a gallon, I might have to quit my job. We only get reimbursed 50 cents per mile, and that is just not enough,” she said.
“It’s really getting rough out there,” said Mrs. Smith.
Only commuters in Atlanta, at $6.62 per day, and Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., at $7.61, pay more than D.C.’s. As a result, some Washingtonians are using mass transit in an effort to avoid the costly commute and frustrating traffic jams.
“I take the Metro much more often,” said Kevin Steve, a D.C. resident who had taken the Metro to Union Station rather than drive. “I think as costs go up, people are just going to find that Metro is much more accessible.”
For others, though, public transportation is simply not an option.
“I can’t take the Metro because of all the places I have to go for my job,” said Mrs. Smith.
“I think public transportation just does not go out far enough to work for everybody,” noted Feyseh-Ben Hammouda, a Northern Virginia limousine driver who was filling his tank at the Lowest Price gas station and has been feeling the pain of higher gas prices.
One of the largest contributors to high costs of travel is the notorious D.C. congestion that can extend what should be a 15- to 20-minute trip to an hour, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. With more and more travel time stuck in traffic, a significant amount of the gasoline being used is while the car isn’t even moving.
“We waste around 43 gallons per consumer per year being stuck in traffic in this area,” according to John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “It is one of the most expensive ways we waste gas.”
The rising costs of travel also affects the profits of local travel-based businesses, such as limousine services and cab drivers.
“Of course it affects us a lot,” said Getu Shiferaw, a native of Ethiopia that has been driving his cab in the District for the past three years.
Mr. Shiferaw said he puts about $70 worth of gasoline in his taxi each week.
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- HURT: D.C. gets the vapors, calls sequester too much
- Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes for Sochi delegation
- Colorado revolt: 55 of 62 sheriffs refuse to enforce new gun laws
- Senators in rush to pass budget vow to undo cut to military retirement pay
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow