Gasoline too expensive? Try a hybrid

Daily Sundial

Living in Southern California definitely has its benefits. The sun shines more than 300 days a year, the beach is nearby and it is the entertainment capital of the world.

However, like all things in a capitalistic system, California is based on supply and demand. Houses that should not be more than $200,000 are selling for half a million dollars or more, the average person spends close to 90 hours a week in traffic and gas is around 10 to 15 cents more expensive than the average price in other parts of the country.

Attending CSUN also has its benefits and its drawbacks. Students receive an excellent education at a very reasonable price, but it is still considered a commuter school. The majority of students do not live on campus.

Therefore like everyone else in Los Angeles, students drive. If they are lucky enough to find a parking space, they have to pay to park. Also, Northridge is not a very attractive place for college students to hang out in. It is not Hollywood. So the majority of students that attend CSUN use a lot of gas no matter what kind of car they drive.

According to, the cheapest price of gas in the 91330 area code is $2.85 at the Shell station on Devonshire and Reseda. This means that students’ expenses have gone up drastically, especially at a commuter school like CSUN. Also, because southern California is so dependent on the automobile, there is no relief in sight.

The only solutions that I can offer is to move closer to school, drive less and carpool more, take public transportation or get a more fuel efficient car.

Many of the students do not live on campus, but many do not live near campus either. Those students simply cannot afford to live on their own in the San Fernando Valley and need to live at home for economic reasons.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area covers over 465 square miles. This makes it very difficult to carpool because so many people live in different areas and the public transportation system is not as convenient as it is in other cities. The subway only serves the downtown area and the bus system takes longer than the car. According to a story done by the CBS Evening News, the majority of Los Angeles residents say it is easier to deal with the traffic on the freeway than with the public transportation system.

The best advice I can offer if you cannot afford to move closer to CSUN or cannot use the public transportation system for whatever reason is to buy a more fuel efficient car.

Buying a new car is seen as an expensive purchase and a car is something that degrades in value the second it is taken off the lot.

However, with gas prices being so expensive and no sign that gas prices will go down, a fuel efficient car is a wise investment. The government has also passed some new incentives for citizens to buy hybrids. Hybrid owners will soon be allowed to drive in the carpool lane even when they are driving alone. If that is not enough of an incentive, according to Power Toyota, the Prius gets 58 miles to the gallon. That means you can go 600 miles between fill-ups.

In times of crisis, in order to survive, we must learn to compromise. This may not necessarily be a life and death situation, but it is a huge financial burden to the country. If we start to wean ourselves off gas, the country would be better off and our expenses would go down.

Justin Satzman is a junior broadcast journalism major. He can be reached at