Ten years ago, the average price of gasoline was $1.25 a gallon. For the average consumer, this was not a problem. Today, it would be considered a blessing, but now the value of the dollar has dropped and natural resources, such as gasoline, are becoming scarce.
As of Jan. 7, the national average price for one gallon of gasoline was $3.32. There is much speculation as to why gasoline prices are so high. Regardless of why or how, it is still essential to carry out daily grind activities, such as work or school. Many people commute great distances to conduct such activities.
In order to maintain finances and still be able to get to school or work, students and faculty might utilize other forms of transportation, such as carpooling, mass transit, or even riding a bike to avoid being in a financial deficit.
“Gas prices are horrible,” said CSUN sophomore Jessica Wells. “I avoid using gas as much as possible. I’m a broke college kid.”
Wells, like many students, utilizes the physical activity and cost-conscious fundamentals of riding a bicycle.
“I was wasting too much money,” remembered Wells, commenting on her own daily grind and how much she would spend to simply drive home. “Everything’s so close, I just ride my bike.”
The Energy Information Administration indicates that gasoline on the west coast continues to have the highest regional price. The average price for regular grade gasoline in California has been reduced, but is still over $3.
“Consumer budgets are tight, economy is slowing down,” said Daniel Blake, professor of economics at CSUN and director of the San Fernando Valley Research Center.
Blake said the price of gas isn’t really the problem, but rather the economy.
“Consumers have to trim their expenses elsewhere,” said Blake.
In order to cut down on travel expenses and be able to have a life outside of work or school, Christopher Delacruz, 21, uses the carpool method.
“It’s a benefit to have carpooling. Financially, I’m nearly broke,” said Delacruz, a business management major. “We all chip in on gas and we all only have to pitch in a little bit,” he added.
Financially cutting corners has become a common practice for students and faculty.
For faculty members such as Information Technician Consultant Bob Rodriquez, there is only enough money to get to work and back.
“I don’t get to go to the places that I want to go,” said Rodriquez. “Only drive from home to work.”
Living in an area of great distance like Antelope Valley, Rodriquez misses his ability to make use of systems of public transit.
“I saved a lot of money,” said Rodriquez, remembering when public transit was a viable option for him in his day-to-day activities. “Actually got to sleep or read a little bit.”
For students like 18-year-old freshman Zack Chini, finding a balance between the means and the end of getting to campus during his first year of college was not so balanced.
“I actually had to stop driving, to save up for books,” said Chini.
For those that use the local transit system like 23-year-old Alyssa Stark, the convenience and cost efficiency is worth much more than having a car.
“For me, taking the bus is very convenient,” said Stark, a CSUN graduate student. “I can read, or do homework, or listen to music without having to worry about traffic.”
To define the cures or causes of such a financial epidemic is not such an easy thing to do. As far as the gas prices are concerned, it is all that most people can do to calm financial woes.
“We need to take a good hard look at alternative energy,” said Rodriquez. “We have the means, but we don’t have the will.”
Despite the steady price decline, gas is still too high for the average consumer that may or may not be going to school and going to work in tandem. It is trying, but sometimes necessary to use a vehicle to get from place to place, in such a large city. But is important to remember that there are other ways to get from point A to point B.
“Worst comes to worst I’ll just take the bus,” said Delacruz.