The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Gas prices forcing students to rethink ‘necessary’ travel

By Vania Castillo/reporter

Gas prices rising over the $3 mark have forced many students to change how often they drive and to become more aware of ways to increase fuel efficiency.

The U.S. economy has been affected by the rise in gas prices, and economists predict prices exceeding $4 this summer.

It has become more common for students to worry about how many times a week to go to school because the more days they attend classes, the more expensive transportation gets.

On average, TCC students interviewed spend about $350 a month on gas just to go to school.

Many of the students said they put all their classes the same days because they do not want to have to drive to school every day.

Some said they are less involved in school activities because they try to do all their school activities only on the days they have to be in school not leaving enough time to get involved in academic events.

Gas prices hurt not only their pockets but also their study time.

“I’m forced to work more hours to pay for gas, and that takes away some hours that I used to spend studying,” Ryan Rust, South Campus student, said. “I budget my money around gas expenses. That’s ridiculous; we shouldn’t have to save money to pay for gas.”

Congress recently increased the national fuel efficiency to 35 miles a gallon by 2020. The current average efficiency standard on new vehicles is 25 miles a gallon, according to Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer. 

But many students drive cars that are even less fuel-efficient.

Compared to other countries, the U.S. is far behind. In most European countries, the fuel efficiency standard is 37 miles a gallon and by 2012 the standard will rise to 50 miles. In Japan, the average is already 45 miles per gallon, Hargreaves reported.

What To Do
Individuals can do little to get gas prices down, but they can save money and become more fuel-efficient.

Give your vehicle proper maintenance. Getting regular oil changes, changing the air filters and keeping your tires inflated properly can save at least 5 percent of gas.

Tune up your vehicle. Keeping a vehicle’s fuel system clean can increase fuel efficiency by 10 percent, maximize the engine’s performance and extend the life of the engine.

Drive reasonable speeds. Driving slower increases gas efficiency by 30 percent. Flooring the pedal to take off at lights makes a car guzzle gas at a surprising rate. Instead, individuals should drive moderately at a constant speed, using cruise control when possible.

Use your vehicle less. Walking or riding a bike when going somewhere near home will save some gas and keep a person active.

Carpool and use public transportation when possible. Several bus routes in the Fort Worth area stop at TCC campuses. The cost is fairly inexpensive, $50 for a month’s pass.

For more information about the city’s public transportation services, visit www.the-t.com.

Consider gas prices when buying a car. Buying a smaller vehicle with technology that makes it more fuel-efficient is a good investment and with time will save more money.

To learn about fuel-efficient vehicles and new options to substitute or reduce the use of gas, visit Web sites like www.fueleconomy.gov and www.greenercars.com.

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