Enough, already!

I made my joyous return to Detroit this week, after heading south expecting warmth and instead having to buy up Florida’s supply of sweatshirts, and was re-introduced to my least favorite thing about metro Detroit.

Scandal? Nope! Gas prices.

After forking over a big percentage of my paycheck at the pump, I realized that my measly 7 mile drive to my office is far (far!) less than most people have to travel. I polled some co-workers who live out in exurbia and they admitted to having to fill up every three or so days. At time, this amounted to about two days pay per week! I’m amazed that people out there are working just to be able to afford to drive to work!

I’m blessed with having a bus station right at the end of my street as well as right across from my office. Last summer, when gas prices hit $3.50, I went out an bought a bus pass. I loved not having to weave around traffic, got to read a book while someone else drove, and really fell in love with what little public transportation we have here in Detroit. While I’m kind of a baby about the cold and don’t want to trek even the couple yards to the bus stop, I’m more of a cheapskate than anything else, which means – come tomorrow? Look for me on the Woodward bus. I’ll be the one with the smile on my face, and a book in my lap.

2 Comments so far

  1. stuckinmichigan on March 24th, 2008 @ 10:49 am

    This would be a prime example of the short sightedness of Metro Detroit and it’s inhabitants. Anyone who thought a non-renewable resource largely supplied by unstable, and often antagonistic, governments with agendas that don’t match our own, would continue to be available so cheaply was an idiot. If you want to live in Lake Orion and work in Warren (yes I know people who do this), or live in Milford and work in Dearborn (I know people who do this as well), live in Novi and work in Troy, or live in Brighton and work in Bloomfield, I have no sympathy for you. If you didn’t already think you spent far too much of your income on gas, you needed to have your head checked.

    When did it become not only acceptable, but normal, in Metro Detroit, to commute 30+ miles each way? When did companies decide it wouldn’t matter if they moved 30 miles away from their employees? Why can’t Metro Detroit communities ever work together to get a decent mass transit system in place?

    Metro Detroiters complain about an exodus of college graduates, 18-35 year olds, jobs leaving the area, and almost no companies coming in or starting up to fill the void. I too have recently left, taking my business to the East Coast. Metro Detroit can’t get a new exhibition space built, can’t get mass transit off the ground, can’t maintain the infrastructure that exists (roads, bridges, schools, etc.), fights against raising fuel efficiency standards, fights against non-smoking laws, and refuses to accept that the world is changing.

    Metro Detroiters will get exactly what they want: an unemployed, overweight, unhealthy, under-educated, shrinking society that can’t attract new businesses or talented individuals, and can’t keep up with the new world economy. Have fun with that…

  2. April (det_april) on March 24th, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

    Actually, I live a whopping 7 miles from my office in the Cass Corridor, so I’m not familiar with the 30 mile commute by any means – but do have several colleagues who are making the trip from Lake Orion, Monroe and the like, and their gas usage and costs really are ridiculous. And it isn’t only metro Detroit paying these prices, so there are plenty more people out there who are subscribing to that same short-sightedness.

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