Friday, September 02, 2005

gas [that's US::gasoline] blues

If you wanna run cool
Yes if you wanna run cool, you got to run
On heavy, heavy fuel

-- [Heavy Fuel/Dire Straits]

So after Hurricane Katrina was done, the ill-fated situation of gasoline in the United States of America got worse. The disruption caused by the hurricane propelled rising gas prices to the $4-$5 mark. The South-East was most affected thanks to problems with incoming gas pipelines (let's not talk about Iraq now, shall we?) causing some gas stations to go dry, others to gouge their prices like bellies at McDonald's. All this causes panic. Inevitable, perhaps. And what about the frustration? The futility of being reminded yet again of the stupidity of car-fuelled (no pun intended) suburbia that has ramped up (to borrow an Americanism) over the years. The gasoline situation is just a hint of the inevitable. People are going to pay for contending that although public transportation is a good idea, they would prefer to spend $$ on gasoline, and sit burning it off waiting in dead lines on clogged expressways (while doing the needful to the environment in the process). People are going to pay for encouraging the development of pedestrian-unfriendly accessibility-challenged city[sic] development[sic] projects. People are going to pay for letting this complacent fatalistic attitude bubble up to their representatives in power, who continue to turn a blind eye to everything except personal gain through political means. Politicians will continue to make the best of the situation. The common person, however, will slide down the tube into an empty tank of gasoline. What country should we attack next to remedy this situation? How about Peru's Chincha Islands? There's a great supply of guano there.

a sample elsewhere: Atlanta Gas Insanity

Even the library system seems to have gone into panic mode ...

On an unrelated note: Could someone let me know if any of the bus services running in Sprawlopolis (aka Altanta) has an extension to the automatic all-in-one machine (swipe passes; submit cash, get ticket; get transfers) that gives you change in case you are unable to furnish it? Currently, the MARTA and CCT buses have machines that are more than willing to take your money, no questions asked. Which means the buses have a steady thin stream of accessory income. Of course, commuters are usually annoyed (or they just shrug and bear it), but who cares? This could be regarded as an incentive to purchase passes (which, I have to agree, are really really convenient if you use the buses for more than simple 1-leg clean trips). But sometimes, basic mathematics will tell you that a pass doesn't give you a decent profit margin for simple 1-leg trips.

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