Teri Ann Renee Paisley, Gleaner Online Writer
I know what you are thinking why am I again referring to gas prices? Well for one it seems as if each month I buy less gas for the same amount of money. Surviving on less is nothing new to Jamaican consumers but it has become an ever increasing strain.The frustration rises when I realize this but since last time I checked my salary is not increasing, I have continued to put the same amount of gas in my tank.
I realized the only way to save money was to park my car. I questioned friends and asked how they coped with the increases. They offered up some unique suggestions to my problem.
They calculated that taking public transportation was cheaper than driving my car based on the bus fare I would need for the week. I would need only $500.00 if I took a bus a few days and drove the other days. If I bought a JUTC smart card that would result in a further discount on the bus fare.
When I expressed no enthusiasm at the thought of taking public transportation as I had gotten accustomed to travelling by myself to work. They then suggested that I fill up the tank instead of doing things my way which involved small refills every few days. By filling the tank once a week I would avoid the frustration of putting in just enough to get by and it would also aid in improving the car’s performance. If the car is kept in good condition then this will also improve the gas mileage.
Of course, parking the car might seem extreme but when you think about it, less pollution and more exercise are benefits which far exceed any inconvenience. I have seen Kingstonians drive a short distance instead of walking. It might also help curb some issues of traffic congestion facing the city. At times I have envied the pedestrians as they easily navigate the city streets.
In case you think the increases are not significant, check your gas gauge for how much gas your money actually buys in comparison to a few months ago. The latest increase announced by Petrojam is of $1.06. As reported by The Gleaner dated May 1, 2013, a litre of E10-87 will be sold for $108.97 while E10-90 will sell for $110.62.
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If parking your car is not for you you might try carpooling with friends. What measures do you employ to cope with the increases in gas prices?