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Alternatives to Driving – Because $100 Per Tank Sucks

This last weekend was National “Don’t buy Gas” Day. I should have listened. I filled my gas tank up this weekend and it cost me $92 and I’m no longer laughing.  It’s more like I’ve reached the “Supreme” level as shown in the picture. Two weeks ago it was $84. That’s about a 10% increase in two weeks. Insane. Back in 2008, I remember gas prices climbing higher and higher, but, it never cost this much to fill the 22 gallon tank in my 2005 Ford Explorer Sportrac Truck. With the cost of gas continuing to soar and by Memorial Day it’s projected to be at $4.50 for regular unleaded, it will cost me about $100 to fill my gas tank. I am looking into some alternatives. It’s time to become more energy efficient, it’s time to stop driving as much.
Firstly, I’m thinking of selling my truck and replacing with a Toyota Prius. Secondly, I’m planning on biking into work. On days that I have to do kid drop off or pick up, I’ll have to drive a more fuel efficient vehicle. I really don’t need a truck anymore as I’m no longer doing construction projects so it’s time to get rid of the truck. Those really are my only alternatives as I live don’t live on a bus line and basically if I did bus in, I’d be driving 1/2 way to the office anyway.

Here’s a few alternatives to driving:

  • Biking (btw, we have locking bike storage at thinkspace in the underground parking garage. We also have a changing room and shower).
  • Take the transit. (I don’t think I’ll be crossing the bridge as much anymore especially when they get the toll operational, if I do, I’ll be taking the 545 express to downtown).
  • Live closer to work.
  • Buy a scooter.
  • Take a vanpool or carpool.
  • Telecommute or work in a coworking space instead of driving into Seattle. Get a virtual office (shameless plug).
  • Eating out less. That’s another thing I’m going to be doing as it’s time to start saving some money.

Incentives to not driving:

  • Earn a one-time $50 reward from R-TRIP after logging your first 50 alternative commutes, including any combination of walk, bike, carpool, vanpool, and transit.

A few months ago one of our divvy users at the time — Maria Zheng, CEO of UrbanQ, introduced me to GasBook an iPhone App that allows you to find the cheapest gas station and also allows you to log your fuel for multiple vehicles. I’ve been using this app for a few weeks and I’d certainly recommend using something like this to save some money!
What are some things that you will do?  What will you change? Will you do a staycation this summer instead of driving all over creation?

Chief Pot Stirrer @thinkspace


  • Kristin Eide

    April 18, 2011

    I take the bus 3x a week (542 to U-District to Redmond). I can’t commit to a 100% bus commute because I often attend events after work, or run errands on the Eastside. However, I find myself filling up my gas tank much less when I split my weekly commute between the bus and driving.
    I also drive a Ford Escort… and it cost me $40 to fill up last week. I get crazy good gas milage, so this is one of the few times I am very proud of my trusty little vehicle.

    • Peter Chee

      April 20, 2011

      Well it sounds like you’re eligible for the R-Trip $50 Amazon card program! Start logging those trips!

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