Gas Watch: Some drivers are ditching their cars

Joel Gregory - Recently ditched car for a moped
Joel Gregory - Recently ditched car for a moped

May 28, 2008

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -  With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, many commuters are taking drastic measures to lower their fuel bills. Some are even ditching their vehicles altogether.

It's not often you see a stock broker carrying a helmet to work, but broker Joel Gregory says it was time to make a change.

"The gas prices are what convinced me to do it," Gregory said.

He spent $2,000 on a new motor scooter. He says it was good deal, considering that the annual gas bill for his car was approaching $3,000.

"With the scooter, it will be about $90 a year for gas. And that's if you drive a lot," explained Gregory, who lives about five miles from his office.

The owner of a local bicycle shop says gas prices are also driving his business. Sid Harmon of Cycle Escape told WSFA that customers are looking for commuting alternatives.

"They're looking for something that will satisfy their needs to and from work," he said.

For drivers not willing to give up their vehicles, car dealers report a rise in hybrids and other cars that are smaller and more efficient. In Montgomery, the popular Toyota Prius has a waiting list.

As a stock broker, Gregory predicts oil prices will surge to $200 a barrel, which will cause further gas price hikes.

"The price per gallon could go over $6.00," he predicted, which is why he's comfortable toting that helmet around town.

Most scooters only go about 45-miles per hour and are designed for in-town use only. But they get up to 115 miles per gallon. That's five times what you can get in a standard sedan.