Gas Climbs To $4, Bikes Become Economic Option

By Reg Chapman, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gas prices are once again on the move. Across the metro, gas is inching closer to that $4 mark.

Last year at this time, Minnesotans were paying two $2.86 a gallon. A month ago, it was $3.57. Tonight, the average price at the pump is $3.95 and rising.

“It’s almost four dollars a gallon, its crazy,” said Rodney Thill, a student.

For people pulling in to fill up at Bobby and Steve’s in Minneapolis, topping off the tank isn’t an option.

“Try to pump up to at least half a tank when I can; I can never fill it up to full tank,” Thill said.

Manny just put in what they can afford.

“Right now it’s at 61 bucks for 15 and-a-half gallons,” Kirk Osgood said.

It’s costing Osgood more money than ever to run his limousine service. He says the price of gas is impacting his business.

“It makes it a little harder to make ends meet, so if it gets any higher I am going to have to raise my rates again,” Osgood said.

Even businesses like Precision Tune Auto Care in Edina are cutting down on filling up the loaner cars. Instead, it’s offering loaner bicycles.

“If someone wants to run down the street, or get a cup of coffee, or something, it’s great to be able to give them a bike and they can just tool down there,” said Jay Steere, an employee.

Outside Grumpy’s Bar on Washington Avenue, a half a block is dedicated to bike parking.

“The average cyclist saves about $8,000 a year by not driving,” said Zach Schaap, who is a part of a group that promotes integrating bike riding into one’s life.

They say it builds community, enriches lives and preserves the earth.

“You don’t have to worry about parking, you don’t have to worry about maintenance, you don’t have to worry about gas, “ said Patrick Stephenson, another group member.

It also saves them lots of money.

For them, it’s a sign of things to come: They hope rising gas prices forces more people to take their bicycles out and pedal instead of paying so much at the pump.

Buses as well as light rail have also seen a steady increase in passengers. Additionally, car-pooling has become more popular.

More from Reg Chapman
  • grizzley man

    For some of us bikes are not an option. I have to drive over 100 miles per day, carrying work equipment, laptop, printer etc. I have to pass it on somehow, and still remain competitive.

    • Anon

      Then live closer to your job.

      • Amanda

        Sure, cause jobs are available in every corner and at our disposal as well… in case you don’t know it, unemployment rate is still high, companies are not hiring and the economy is still hurting! Sure, just quit your job and demand the companies closer to your house to hire you, so you can use your bike….

    • Grover

      Well, duh. The story isn’t about people like you. It is not even aimed at people in your situation. Yet you have to whine and make it about yourself.. So figure out what in your non work life could you do alternative forms of transportation. There must be something.

    • Time to remake the spoke system

      The real story behind this will be the desire for those living out in the far reaching suburbs to move closer to the city. This will mean increasing home prices in the first ring suburbs as more and more people compete for the few homes for sale. The other reality is that people will begin to get out of their cars and opt for car pooling, bus transportation. The MTC will have to come up with creative ways of moving people like suburb to suburb bus transportation, rather than the broken down ‘spoke’ system we have currently.

  • james

    it is bull the way gas is made has not changed in over 50 years so y the price incress it is becouse the gov. dont care about us little people just the rich maby the oil countrys we sell for to maby we should mark up food that much charge the 150.00 for a gallon of milk and 75.00 for a loaf of bread or just stop selling them anything put an emborgo aginst them

    • Enjoying the rubes


    • albert

      Wow, what an exquisite, ignorant, unintelligible posting. You use you feet?

      • fairy

        eh, look at the time – I’m betting he was toasty. Doesn’t excuse the false concept though…

      • james

        it is not about biking or walking it is about the gov and gas company making to much profit and we r paying in the end our country is already strugling right with unempoyment and people loseing there houses now gas is going up and up it is making it worse on us all

  • Darren

    Don’t forget how much the government gets on the gas tax both state and federal, its not just the oil companies making money. Our own government is making millions if not billions in taxes on gasoline. The higher the price of gasoline, the more tax they get.

    • Anon

      Darren: If you calculate the average cost at the pump, taxes are very, very very small. In foreign countries your gas price is 2x/3x because of tax. Here, tax is barely ten percent. Don’t make a Minnesota winter out of an ice cube.

    • Mike

      Darren-Roads and highways don’t build themselves……………

      • Dave

        Your right, 4 supervisors watching one guy in a digging, requires a lot of money. I see it all the time on the roadway. Enjoy

    • albert

      What an idiot. Gas taxes are not a percentage, they are a fixed amount per gallon. And they have not even gone up the rate of inflation in 30 years. Go do some homework, but not on World News Net.

  • Mike

    Riding bikes for enjoyment and recreation is one thing, but when co-workers show up to work sweating in their attire for the day, it is not a good thing…..

    • Mytrip is 8miles

      mike, I ride a bike but I don’t bust m butt getting there and I bring a change of clothes or keep a set of clean clothes at work

  • Hotwire

    Darren, you need to really update your brain. Gas is taxed BY THE GALLON, not on a percentage of the price. Smart Up.

  • non-native speaker

    “Instead, its are offering loaner bicycles.” Sloppy!!!

  • mpls free spirit

    super america appears to set the gas prices around here!! sams club & costco are selling gas at 3.83 while sa sells it at 3.99 ~~~ they have figured out long ago if they raise prices every one else will follow!!!!!

  • albert

    Gas should be $8 a gallon by taxation. Then all the rednecks will stop living 40 miles from their work and commute in F-350s with dualies. Use the money for public transit and alternative energy installations.

    • Common Cents

      Wow, really?… $8 a gallon? You do realize that most things in our economy have to be transported from one place to another, with trucking being the primary method. Do you think those trucks run on peace, love, and happy thoughts? You sound like you don’t eat meat, but I bet you get your fill of vegetables… Some of those rednecks you speak so fondly of are farmers who operate tractors days on end, so you can feel good about your vegan lifestyle. Rising gas prices hurt everyone. Consumer purchases drive our economy. When people are spending their disposable income to fill up their tanks instead of supporting local businesses, WE ALL LOSE!

      • Mike

        Albert should try trucking and paying for diesel… The trucks and trains are what provide Albert’s food, shelter, and pretty much everything in Albert’s house. What would Albert life be like if we took out all the large trucks and trains?…. Poor Albert…

    • Me

      Well said albert

  • jeff

    we continue to build in such a way that it requires us to go great distances for our needs. urban planning has failed us immensely. the days of everything being within walking or biking distance is gone. the best you can do is to move somewhere where all of your needs and wants are at hand. what a terrible waste to live 100 miles from where you work. at what point will it be more cost effective to quit or look at moving closer to work?

  • Phil Mcrackin

    I guess I am a redneck then albert I live in the suburbs and my work commute is less that 9 miles and I can bike there and I do when the weather is good. Does that still make me a redneck, you are a moron.

    • albert

      Take a remedial English class. Since you live 9 miles from work, how would you possibly fit my definition of a redneck? Dope.

  • Fred

    The government has failed to supply us with cheap fuel. What ever happened to the good old days of puppet dictators so the rest of the world could have cheap fuel?

    • jen

      Hey Fred, try traveling to Europe, and fill up your rental car…. I met 4 Brits and they all loved $4 US subsidized gas…. Enjoy the good life Fred…

  • jeff

    i understand his frustration phil, but you don’t meet all the criteria. you live nine miles from work, not 40. :)

  • Schae

    There are people out there that riding a bike just wouldn’t be feasible….and I’m one of them.

    • Me

      Why is it not feasible for you?

  • DLQ

    I have been living in the outer rings for 3 decades and that was my choice. This country was built on cheaper gas now they are switching the rules that allows the prices this high. The new world order and America’s elite wants to destroy America’s middle class and they are doing exactly that a little bit at a time. They will not be happy until we are all living on top of each other with 20 people to a house sitting on a postage stamp lot in either of the two down towns. If I wanted to be a uptowner I would have lived there.

    • Enjoying the rubes

      Ahh, it doesn’t get better than this. You’re right – you chose not to live in the city (where there are plenty of single family homes, by the way). Now you’ve got to pay a fraction of the price of supporting your lifestyle and you don’t like it. Apparently you want big government to, what, further subsidize gasoline? But you don’t want big government to do anything else? You rubes are great.

    • Jerome

      The first time there was a “gas shortage” was in the late 1970’s. If you could not figure out then that gas would not be cheap forever from the rise of OPEC then you have only yourself to blame. Free country to make your own choices, take responsibility for it. The new world order and America’s elite really do not care where you live, they just want your money. Yet people keep voting for them.

  • Big Liib

    Its G.W.B. fault!

    • jason

      Dear Big Lib…
      Really, are you that dumb?… your nice standard of living is based off of cheap petroleum products. Look around you, all that you have is pretty much from petroleum.. GWB made sure you continued the good life…Selfish Lib…

  • me

    What would happen to this country if Saudi Arabia and the rest of our suppliers cut us off on the oil? I read this somewhere but we use 25% of the worlds oil and we only have about 4% that we actually have our self. We created this mess by driving SUV and trucks to work with only one person in the vehicles, Or we drive to the store that is block away just or milk. And look around your house and tell me what is not made from oil I can’t find anything

  • tom

    anyone want to buy a few bikes i have and do not use, i will never give up my SUV’s

    • Anon

      Tom: Craigslist. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they were cheap bikes hiding in the garage in lieu of a overpriced SUV (someone tell me why you can charge 40k for a SUV..?)

    • Me

      Tom lets just say that your SUV has a 20 gallon tank it would cost you about 100 to fill at 5 dollar a gallon. Now lets say you drive about 13500 a year now it will cost you about 2700 a year at about 5 dollar a gallon. That is money I don’t have my self, I am glad you are rich

    • kevin

      @ tom
      You are an example of entitlement. If you have no real need for an SUV then essentially you are part of the problem. Higher demand creates higher prices. People think they are entitled to drive mammoth vehicles and have cheap gas.

      • Jackie

        It’s a free country, if you don’t like Tom’s choice of vehicle, leave… Tom may need a SUV, you don’t know, your not Tom.

        BTW… I’m heading ot the door to fill up my company truck, I’m looking forward to getting the points on my Credit Card for the gas that I buy… :)

  • HooDatIS?

    lets just all shut down the gas companies by not buying gas for a day

    • Me

      That won’t work we will just fill up the day before or the day after, the only way we can do this is to change our driving habits,

      • Dave

        ah yes… shut it down and say hi to prices everywhere, food, lodging, clothing, etc… spoken like a True.. LIB..

        How’s the greasy hair coming along?

  • Victim Du Jour

    Reagan and Bush Sr greatly reduced our peak oil trends and created a huge oil surplus.

    President Clinton handed out Clean Air Act waivers, and allows automakers to build 300,000 more SUV’s every year. That is why President Clinton is the first President in History to release the strategic oil reserve.

    I get a kick out of Dumb people who don’t know how gas tax created the budget surplus during the 90’s.

    SUV’s created our problems today, more than anything.

    • albert

      What? The budget surplus was created on tax revenue from the dot com bubble. Gas taxes go directly to the highway construction fund that is voted on every 5 years for distribution. Talk about Dumb.

  • Victim Du Jour

    *President Clinton was the first President in history to release the Strategic oil reserve during peace time.

    And now environmentalists think they are suppose to be the boss of oil.

    GOP Presidents are the only ones expected to save the environment for some reason.

  • Bob

    love driving my gas hog of a truck still oh well just have to pay a bit more no biggie

  • Does it save gas in the car if you run the fan without the air being conditioned for coolness or heat?

    […] Gas Climbs To $4, Bikes Become Economic Option « CBS Minnesota […]

  • tom

    Guess no one that posts a comment doesn’t read news on here. The saudis are cutting production because of the stockpile they have, Gas Companies are recording record profits in the first 3 months of this year and are on the way to more. Oil reserves are full. The price at the pump is the gas companies way of telling you we need more and more cause we are building a new mansion on the hill. Gas prices up= food and goods prices go up. Sad when a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a pound of hamburger costs you 12.00. Guess not bad if you could feed a family of 4 on that for two days. Raise your emails and voices to stop the fleecing of america by way of speculation.

    • Anon

      Shh. We’re supposed to be lassiez-faire capitalists thriving on the drip-down from our socioeconomic betters.

      Anyways. In Minnesota our oil comes from Canada, and they’re content to keep us well-supplied. We are reasonably insulated from major price shocks, and the presence of the Inver Grove Heights refinery means that transportation costs aren’t so bad, like shipping oil across the world.

      However in the winter we need snowplows to keep the streets clear, and we’ll never be totally divorced of our petroleum needs. In conclusion:

      -Don’t complain about gas prices when you live so far from your workplace.
      -Be prepared to pay in fuel taxes or vehicle licensing fees for vehicle-only freeways.
      -Bikes and buses will serve the inner city folk. Depending on demand, service may gradually expand outwards to the suburbs; but we need speed at low price (asking too much? One or the other…)

  • lee

    Wasnt gas a little over a dollar for like a few months a while back? Anyone know why it was so cheap? Compared to now?

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