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Gas prices call for commuter alternatives
Posted March 14, 2008

Francine Gobert
News Editor

As a commuter I am faced with the dilemma of many drivers today: the price of gas.

On Tuesday, while listening to a newscast, a preview mentioned the fact that one gas station in Los Angles County had reached up to $4.09 per gallon for regular grade! That evening I went to gasbuddy.com, an online directory that allows you to see the lowest and highest gas prices in a certain region.

I was shocked to find that a Chevron station in Los Angeles located on 901 N Alameda St and Main Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue had reached $4.13 per gallon.

This revelation made me think that I am so happy that this is my last semester commuting to a distant destination, at least I hope.

I commute 45 miles, three days out of the week to La Verne, and at this point I spend about $40 a week and an estimated $160 per month on gas. In my opinion these numbers are not that bad when compared to other commuters.

The fact that I only travel three days a week, my job is right around the corner from my house, and my daughter’s child care provider is only 10 minutes away from home helps reduce the amount of money spent on gas. But most importantly the fact that I drive a fuel-efficient vehicle works to my benefit in this situation.

I drive a 2001 Honda Civic and according to fueleconomy.gov, my vehicle is estimated to get an average of 28 miles per gallon. Based on my own driving experience I agree with this estimation.

I live in a household where each member of my family has their own vehicle, including my mother who owns a Toyota 4runner, which is a definite gas guzzler. According to fueleconomy.gov a 4runner is estimated to get an average of 13 miles per gallon. But luckily for my mother who works in downtown Los Angeles, she has taken advantage of the Rideshare program provided by the city. She spends about $40 a week on her truck to drive 10 minutes out to her vanpool stop.

Everyday that I leave to school I pass a vanpool stop for University of California, Los Angeles students and can’t help but wish that the University of La Verne offered some type of Rideshare program for students who commute from distant cities.

I have met students who travel from as far as Victorville and Beverly Hills to attend ULV, and this is amazing when considering the financial hardships students face at times in comparison with the price of gasoline.

But with this dilemma, there comes hope, in light of this issue a new campaign has surfaced. The I Will Ride campaign is looking toward the Foothill Extension of the Metro Gold Line, which will go from Pasadena to the Ontario Airport, with a stop in La Verne.

I believe for future students, if this is passed, it will offer a great alternative. At a time when a recession seems evident, and as I am graduating soon, I hope that wherever I find myself working and wherever I decide to continue my education, will either be close to home, near a train station or will offer a Rideshare program.

As gas prices continue to rise everyone will be affected somehow, but the alternate solutions that we find to sustain us will hopefully be beneficial to us and the earth in the end.

If California continues to look toward alternate fuels and transportation the only direction we can go from here is up.

I hope that these rising gas prices help not only America to realize that there is a problem, but that we have the power to affect change on our environment and the way we live.

Francine Gobert, a senior communications major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at fgobert@ulv.edu.