Mileage, Price of gas drives trips

Annie Clarkson - Editorial Page Editor

Annie Clarkson – Editorial Page Editor

I bought a new (used) car recently. Better gas mileage played a big part in the decision. I wanted to buy one of those fashionable Vespa scooters so I could get a better parking space at Missouri Southern, but this winter weather scared me off. And I knew I’d look stupid in a helmet.

The price of gas has jumped forty cents in the last month and there’s talk of $4/gallon prices this summer. I’m certainly not defending the oil companies, but we are pretty lucky here in the Midwest that the price of gas remains practically the lowest in the country. Have you noticed that gas prices at the two stations closest to Southern are usually the cheapest in town?

Some economists think the price is just about right; most working people can afford it but it is restrictive, and that’s good news for the environment.

Most Europeans pay more than twice what Americans pay for a gallon of gas. Last month, the cost in the UK was $7.67 and $8.59 in the Netherlands. Maybe that’s why bicycle travel is so common in Amsterdam, or maybe they’re just too stoned to drive.

So, for the price of one night at Buffalo Wild Wings, you could have enough gas to get to school and take the bus all over town for a week. For the price of one movie, you could road trip to Springfield, Kansas City, Tulsa or Fayetteville.

For the price of one meal at the Lion’s Den, you could afford enough gas to drive across the border to a number of casinos. On second thought, that might not be too economical in the long run.

If the going rate for gas in Joplin is still out of your budget, try alternative methods, such as the Joplin trolley. It starts downtown and stops at Wal-mart, Northpark Mall and Webster Hall (at 40 minutes after every hour) and costs only $1 (one way). It sure beats the competitive game of trying to find a space in Southern’s main parking lot every morning.

I would like to get on my soapbox and preach about the environment and alternative energy and avoiding unnecessary travel, but I guess that will have to wait until after my road trip to Arizona for spring break.