49 Comment

  • I paid 1.68 today.

    Great deal, if you don’t mind driving to Winchester…

    • Folks can just cross the river and come to Deanwood. I filled my Prius for about 12$ today. Gas was $1.89 on Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE. I think its about 1.80 on Minnesota ave.

  • It’s been under $2 for months if you just head across the river to Arlington. If it’s not out of your way, it’s been very affordable lately.

    • SouthwestDC

      Where in Arlington? I’ve always found gas to be a bit more expensive in VA, unless you drive really far out.

      • The Hess station on Wilson Blvd between Clarendon and Ballston is always significantly cheaper than anything else in the area.
        .
        Additionally, the gas stations on Route 7/Leesburg Pike between Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads are also usually much cheaper, but further out.

      • Also usually cheap in Arlington – Arlington Auto Service right by Columbia Pike & Four Mile Run ($1.79 today) and the Liberty at Lee Highway &Military Road ($1.89 today).

  • Actually, I’m complaining a little. Not that I like paying more for things, but gas taxes should be significantly higher than they are in this country. Cheap gas encourages purchases of fuel inefficient cars, and discourages investment in alternative energy sources, among other negative externalities. OK, curmudgeon moment over.

    • justinbc

      As someone without a car, I fully support this viewpoint!

      • I have two cars, and it still holds. I fully support using tax policy in furtherance of social policy.

        • So taxpayers subsidize oil drilling to the tune of billions of dollars, then we raise taxes on consumption. Makes sense.

          • I’m guessing everyone above you commenting would also aruge that we shouldn’t be doing the former.

          • So because we have ill-conceived policy with respect to oil production, we are required to double-down with ill-conceived policy with respect to oil consumption? Makes sense.

          • jburka

            Or, we raise taxes, leading to less consumption, leading to fewer subsidies for drilling. I’m happy with either. Of course, neither getting the government to raise taxes nor to quit subsidizing Big Oil is likely to happen…

    • jburka

      As someone with a car, I fully support this viewpoint!

    • As a car owning commuter, I support this!

    • As someone who probably shouldn’t be driving a car, meow.

    • Also a car owning commuter and I agree as well.

    • Accountering

      Agree 100%. If I was dictator for a day, I would raise the gas tax .10c/year, for 20 years, then index to inflation +.2c, with no ability to overturn it, and no sunset provision. We are the only first world country where infrastructure isn’t a new benefit to the general fund.

    • Agreed. I was just in Switzerland, where gas is still $6 a gallon and the public transportation system is absolutely amazing. It’s not a coincidence.

      • ah

        Switzerland is also about the size of the Los Angeles metro area, so it’s not exactly a direct comparison to how things would be in the US.

        • Yeah, no kidding, which is why I didn’t make that direct comparison.

          • ah

            Except that the implication of your post is that high gas taxes–>better public transit–>problem solved. And, while perhaps that would work in a small area with relatively dense population, that ignores basically 90% of the United States, which, when you’re dealing with a federal gasoline tax and, presumably, compensating public transportation spending, can’t really be ignored, both for political and practical reasons.

        • Accountering

          If our gas tax had been $2/gallon for the last 75 years (adjusted for inflation) our cities would look NOTHING like they do now. The suburbs simply wouldn’t have happened like they did. Drive till you qualify doesn’t work as well when driving actually costs what it should cost.

          • +1.
            .
            And although many poor people in the U.S. can afford cars and can afford to drive, things are REALLY bad for people who live in car-centric areas and can’t afford cars. There was a story in the Washington Post the other week about a woman living in a homeless shelter in suburban Atlanta whose commute to work via bus takes 2.5 hours, vs. the 45 minutes it would take by car.

          • ah

            What do you think driving “should” cost, and why? I don’t mean that mockingly – I mean what are the costs (pollution, traffic delays, other) that would justify a $2 gas tax (or a $5 one)?

          • Eh, not so sure about this. Cheap gas may be A factor in explaining suburban sprawl — which I think is what you’re getting at — but it certainly isn’t THE factor. It’s not just cheap gas that encourages car use but planning and regulation as well. Think of things like parking minimums, density restrictions and the construction of wide roads designed to speed people to their destination (most egregiously the construction of interstate highways right through some cities that involved the tearing up of existing urban fabric).

            Also wonder how much gas factors into people’s decisions. If you drive 10,000 miles per year (I haven’t owned a car in over 10 years so I can’t recall how much driving is normal per year), and get 20mph, that’s 500 gallons of gas per year. Bumping the gas tax up to $2/gallon means $1,000 per year in gas tax. Over 10 years, $10,000. But if living in the suburbs saves you $100,000 on a house vs. the city, that $10K seems like small potatoes.

          • Agree that cheap gas is a factor, rather than the factor, in the explosion of the suburbs. I read something once that suggested that Americans are reactive, not forward thinking – when gas prices are $4/gal, more of us purchase fuel-efficient cars, but when they are $2/gal, SUV sales explode – because apparently we can’t comprehend that in the 5+ years you’ll own the car, gas prices will fluctuate wildly . Regardless of policy benefits, a $2 gas tax would fund all sorts of improvements, including repairs to crumbling infrastructure (without requiring sale of sais infrastructure to Australian megacorporations).

    • The “among other negative externalities” bit here is key. Carbon/global warming is a relatively minimal societal cost to driving. Most people don’t realize this, but the environmental damage in the release of gas in the air is FAR outweighed by the costs of traffic (i.e., commuter time) and the additional risk of an accident stemming from more drivers on the roads.

    • I was going to say the exact same thing. Cheap gas is bad for society.

      • “Cheap gas is bad for society.”
        .
        That really sums it up. And yes, I realize that I (and others) are fortunate that $4 gas v. $2 gas doesn’t impose a significant economic burden.

      • The biggest issue with gas taxes are that they disproportionately fund highway initiatives rather than mass transit, perpetuating car dependent infrastructure.

        But cars are far cleaner burning and lower emission than ever before, and emissions only represent a modest % of carbon load impacting global warming. Cars have nothing on coal fired power plants or wood/coal burning sources for heat and cooking throughout the world and especially in emerging economies like India and China.

        Driving less and polluting less are worthwhile goals for many reasons, but we can all ditch cars yet still have intractable problems with global carbon emissions (but of course still cab and Uber). I’d like to see cheap oil prices translate to higher utilization of natural gas (especially LNP which can be readily transported). And while we going to incentivize/penalize through taxes let’s also implement a garbage tax to provide an encourage composting, or implement a beef tax for the methane emissions of farting cows.

  • Sorry to see different cash/credit prices finally penetrating into D.C.

    • This is new? There has always been a cash/credit difference among the gas station on Georgia Ave by me in the three years I have lived in DC, and I recall it being the case at the gas station on North Cap that I had the misfortune of using once or twice when I first started working in DC 5 years ago…

    • ah

      I think it’s become more prevalent in the last year or two.

    • Comment Artist

      This is not new. I can remember there being separate cash/credit prices 30 years ago.

    • ah

      BTW, here’s one explanation: Antitrust suit that barred Visa/MC restriction on different prices for cash vs. credit. Presumably it’s emboldened stations to take this approach:

      http://www.ocregister.com/articles/credit-344140-cash-card.html

      • Oh really? I thought it totally violated card-member agreements for a business to have different prices for for cash and credit. And I actually thought this picture was about how blatantly this violates that agreement, and not about the low price. But it looks like credit card companies haven’t been allowed to enforce that for years!

  • FtLincolnLove

    I got gas at the DC Costco the other day for $1.79!

  • I work in Landover and always fill up there. It’s been $1.99 more or less since maybe November. Excited to start a new job next week though where I can just take the bus though!

    • Accountering

      It’s amazing. Same situation here, and not being chained to the car is the best!

      • Yeah, my least favorite part of our recent move is I can no longer walk or metro to work (or, more accurately, the time it would take to walk or metro is time-prohibitive). Though I will say my commute time has been cut by 15-20 minutes each way, which doesn’t stink.

  • It’s crazy because low oil prices means low Canadian dollar! We actually sold the wife’s car while we were home and converting a chunk of the money from US to Canadian was niceeee! I also like being car-free (for now)–no gas, no insurance, no maintenance!

  • Back to the future :^) It reminds me of prices in the 1970s.

  • I’ve been carless for several years now, but after several years of running around to get car2gos, renting zipcars, etc., I’m a bit tired of that and really miss the convenience of having a car to use whenever I need it. I spend a great deal of money on grocery deliveries and Amazon, but I really kind of miss just randomly going to Target or Costco. I’ve been tempted the last few months to get a car again. Then I’m reminded of every horrific experience I have had at the DC DMV, or driving around in circles looking for street parking on street cleaning days and decide I’m fine with Peapod.

Comments are closed.