Outraged at high gas prices? Then get out of your damn car

Chris Campbell

A fresh wave of outrage has swept over Metro Vancouver today (Friday) as gas prices at local pumps hit another high.

Some stations were charging as much as $1.68.9 per litre and people were setting their hair on fire about it.

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I’ve been reading the comments on Facebook and Twitter (dangerous, I know) and, sadly, few people have mentioned a novel idea for combatting the high prices – don’t drive.

Yeah, I know, it’s radical, but maybe leave your car or truck at home.

Instead, hop on a bicycle. Take transit. Walk.

I’m not necessarily saying you should never drive. Some people need their vehicles for work or have physical issues that make walking or biking or even getting to transit difficult. I know there are always plenty of excuses for people wanting to drive. I make them myself, but often it’s simply a matter of laziness or entitlement (myself included).

What I am saying is find the nerve to cut back on your driving as much as possible.

Metro Vancouver has a pretty good transit system with plenty of options. It’s far from perfect, but it works well.

I have found myself using transit more and more as the gas prices have gone higher. I also find myself questioning if I need to run that solo errand or drive to a certain grocery store for a certain item, when I have a store that is walking distance.

But this is what things like the TransLink tax and carbon taxes are designed to do (although I must make clear, they are not the main reason why gas prices have spiked lately) – push people to cut back on their driving.

It not only saves you money, but it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are destroying the planet. We all need to make a radical shift to stop driving. (As a side note, doing more walking has greatly helped my fitness level, which needs a lot of help.)

That’s why government is putting more money into things like transit and bike lanes. Improving infrastructure makes leaving the car at home that much easier. What government doesn't need to do is have someone like Premier John Horgan pander to people by suggesting he might provide some kind of "relief" to high gas prices. That's the wrong thing to do. 

Young people get it. My daughter has no interest in getting her licence because, for her, transit and walking or biking is the best way to live over the expense of owning a vehicle.

The youngest reporters in our office leave their cars at work for essential assignments and bike or use transit for the rest of their lives.

Their behaviour and high gas prices are both inspiring me to change my habits. Sure, it takes more effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

You can follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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