Celebrating $2.50 Per Gallon

Among the three gas stations in the Village, one has finally dipped below $2.50 per gallon for low-test gas.  The independent station at Thornhill attained this milestone, while the two oil company-branded stations on Mountain are almost there.

Gas Prices

What a change from the sheer despair we felt back in June when prices were north of $4.50 per gallon.  Now that it costs just 55% of that sky-high amount, commuters can breath a sigh of relief.

According to U.S. Census data, some 62% of 94611 residents drive alone to work.  We travel to all compass points, and 25% spend at least 45 minutes commuting daily.  So declines in gas prices translate into meaningful savings.

Do we return to our gas-guzzling ways after work?  Do we hit the roads, California dreamin’ and all?  Hhmm.

How Gas Prices Hit Home

Last evening, I fueled my car at the Thornhill gas station. Low-test gas had reached a bargain basement price of $4.53/gallon, and I was drowning in my sorrows.

Then I noticed two Oakland police nearby. While I waited for the gold to be injected into my tank, I sauntered over and declared, “Shoot me now, I need to complain.”

After chatting for a while, I learned that one of these cops beats us all. He has a long daily commute to Oakland, and spends $1,100/month on gas to get here.

We appreciate that local police are making the rounds around the Village. Our gas commiseration made me think about who is attracted to law enforcement, given the risks versus rewards.

Per the Oakland Police Department’s hiring website, entry-level cops earn from $69-$87k/annually. Assuming after-tax income of $55-$70k/annually, a new Oakland cop might spend 25-30% on commuting costs alone!

Yes, we have nearly arrived at the point where gas costs only a bit less than housing. Coupled with rent or a mortgage, there’s not much left over. That really hits home.