WASHINGTON – AAA reports that the national average for gas is $3.92 a gallon, and in many locations in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia the price is even higher. So, are the prices at the pump making people reconsider their decision to drive? The short answer: not really.
“I’m going to be driving no matter what,” said commuter Tina Washington, who works near Navy Yard and has a 10 minute commute.
And Washington is not alone. Brandon Molitor, who works for a construction company, said that because of the nature of his job, there’s no way for him to avoid driving.
“I wish there was a better way besides getting a truck with better gas mileage,” he said.
The project manager at the district Department of Transportation, Josh Moskowitz, said the Capital Bikeshare program has seen increased ridership recently. But, he said rising gas prices are just a part of reason behind the increase.
“I think a number of reasons that’s happened is because we’ve expanded, the system has matured, we’ve been operating for about one and a half years now and it’s just become an everyday part of people’s lives,” he said.
Bikeshare ridership increased six percent from January through April, and 53 percent from February of last year. The program now has nearly 140,000 customers.
Joshua Simonds, rides his bike 50 miles each way to work every day. But he said he’s been doing it long before the spike in gas prices.
“I used to do it more when I was a little bit younger, but I still try to stick to at least 4 days a week,” he said.
On the days Simonds doesn’t ride his own bike to work, he rents one through Bikeshare to run errands or go out to lunch. He said the Bikeshare program is a perfect fit for his lifestyle.
“The breaks are good, they’re always clean, the tires are pumped up, the price is right,” he said.
But several other commuters said they’ll continue to fill up, for the convenience of driving.
“Public transportation? Nah, I’ve tried it. I’d be exhausted by the time I get to work,” Washington said.