OpinionExpensive gas tests US dependence on cars

Expensive gas tests US dependence on cars

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The tall price of gasoline is testing the dependence of millions of Americans on their automobiles to work. Many are changing their habits, signing up for shared rides or even ditching their cars altogether to commute by bike.

The price Gas prices recently broke the psychological barrier of $5 a gallon across the country. The price average this week was $4.95 compared to $3.06 a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA, a federation of automobile clubs).

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden asked Congress to suspend federal taxes on gasoline for three months, which would reduce 18.4 cents per gallon in the price of gasoline. He also called on states to suspend their own hydrocarbon taxes. In the meantime, however, gasoline is straining family budgets and pushing people to look for alternatives.

Wallace Reid, for example, is looking for a new way to make a living.

Reid, who drives in New York for app-based taxi services Uber and Lyft, fills up his Lexus at least three times a week. He pays about $95 each time, almost double what he paid last year. To make up for that, he drives more often, but is also looking for other jobs that don’t require him to use his car.

“It’s more hours, more stress,” he said. “New York City is not an easy city to work in and this is affecting our lives.”

In a normal summer, Orvilia Nieto could get around in her truck from the mobile home she lives in in Lytle, Texas, but that’s getting harder this year. She has a hard time filling up her 2008 Ford Expedition SUV to get to her job at a TJ Maxx distribution center in San Antonio, about 20 miles away.

Nieto and his co-workers exchange tips on where gas is cheapest. She sometimes carpools or fills her tank only halfway, which still costs her more than $50, but she says she feels lucky. She says that several of her colleagues on her shift, which ends at 2:30 am, return to her house on bicycles in the dark.

“It has been a difficult road,” he said. “If we lived in the city it would be easier, I could take the bus, but at the end of the shift at 2:30 in the morning, what bus line is available?”

Source: With Information from diario libre

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