As the prices of gas rise and fall in California like my head nodding off during weekly office meetings, we can’t help but wonder if more people will choose the bike over fueling up at the pump this Autumn. We talked about the spike in gas prices in 2008 and increased ridership from earlier this Spring… and we can’t forget the massive spike in gas in California in the middle of October! I happened to be in L.A. for my cousin’s wedding at this height of it all, and even my family (notorious for driving three blocks to each other’s houses) opted to carpool to the wedding events to save some cash. Holy isht, it blew my MIND! This article from the San Francisco Chronicle website from Oct. 14, 2012 said the gas spike made bike commuting more attractive for Los Angelonians:
The car-centric City of Angels is in the midst of building almost 1,600 miles of bike infrastructure over the next five years — so far, it has completed more than 83 miles of lanes and paths linking key areas — and its largely underutilized subway has seen a slow increase in ridership that only grows when gasoline prices soar.
Los Angeles County’s Metrolink, which features open train cars for bike riders and connects the county’s far-flung cities, has seen record ridership over the past week, said Sherita Coffelt, the system’s spokeswoman.
“Historically there have been spikes whenever gas prices rise, but with the past gas spike, we sustained our ridership; that was breaking the cycle,” Coffelt said regarding an earlier spike in 2012.
My Cycle Ladies and Gents in L.A. tell me the same, bike commuting is more than just a passing fad. But, the the gas prices in California finally dropped below $4/gallon for the first time in a LONG time this week, according to this article by the L.A. Times. Let’s hope the Bike wins outas the Gas vs. Bike battle continues…