As verified by NBCNews, gas prices really did rise this week, for the first time in two months:
Regular-grade gasoline prices, which had decreased about 37 cents between early September and Nov. 8 to an average of $3.22, inched up 3.4 cents to $3.25 a gallon as of Nov. 22.
The highest price for gasoline in the survey of major cities in the 48 continental states was in San Diego at $3.58 a gallon. Drivers in Tulsa, Okla., paid the least to fill up at $2.93 a gallon.
Commentary today is provided by my father, who posted this on his Facebook profile 7 hours ago, presumably while he browsed the web with his morning coffee:
Gas prices jump 35 to 40 cents a gallon just in time for Thanksgiving week when the people are on the road to visit family and friends. Thank you Oil Cartels. Enjoy being robbed by polite men in suits and ties this week.
Thanks, Dad! Will do.
Spirit Airlines is famously terrible — they serve no in-flight snacks or beverages, seats don’t recline, and it costs $50 to CARRY ON a bag — but according to Derek Thompson at the Atlantic, their business is still doing really, really well. Between 2008 and 2012, Spirit Air “saw fuel costs rise by nearly 60 percent, increased salaries by about half, flew more miles at higher costs, and, despite all that, still managed to reduce its average ticket price by 20 percent,” earning 40% more per airplane than their competitors.
I love a good transportation woe, and I love Emily Carter Roiphe’s essay about getting around in her hometown of New York versus the city of Minneapolis, where she went for rehab and then stayed for years
Some financial facts, gleaned by the infograph-ers from various reliable sources, are here presented in plain text:
- Mastercard gave $6.5M, and Citibank gave $41M, for a total of $47.5M in sponsorship.
- As of September 15, 2013, CitiBike has made $8,532,147 in revenue.
- The docks cost $13.7M, the kiosks $13.5M, the bikes themselves were $11.2 M, the “cables and toolkits, etc.” were $1.5M, and the cards alone were $250,000 (you guys gotta work on those card margins, ok?).
Texting while driving is the leading cause of death among teenagers, which is why 46 states have banned texting while driving and have imposed penalties on drivers who break the law. In California, the maximum penalty for a first-time offender is $20, which may not be so much of a deterrent for drivers there. In Alaska, the penalty is $10,000 plus a year in prison, which, wow, yes—sounds like a major incentive not to text and drive. Mother Jones has a state-by-state list of fines for texting and driving here.
I received an offer my meager budget and wandering nature would not allow me to refuse: A 664-mile round-trip on the Greyhound bus from San Diego to Las Vegas for $62.50. Even if I had to pay for a post-bus ride tetanus shot and sputum culture on account of Greyhound’s supposed dreadful conditions, the ticket was still just half the cost of driving. Plus I’d have eight hours of nothingness each way, which was almost unheard of in the two years since I went on an unexpected reproductive binge that resulted in two off-the-chain baby boys in just over 18 months. To the Hound I went.
The common denominator in this WSJ story about what makes commuting to and from work enjoyable (despite the time it takes) for people is having things to do to make the trip feel more efficient. A six-year study of nearly 30,000 British rail passengers found that 37 percent fewer passenger felt like their time was being wasted during their commute in 2010, compared with 2004, and researchers hypothesize that mobile devices that have allowed me to do things like check email, or listen to podcasts or music have helped commuters feel like they’re being more productive.
Stacy-Marie Ishmael talks to WNYC New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi about apps that hail cabs for you in NYC and why, despite slow growth and popularity, they are very promising for minority communities, specifically, as Ms Ismael says, “brown people”: “It takes away the possibility that you’re not going to want to take me somewhere because you think I live in the outer boroughs or you’re discriminating on the basis that you think I’m going to rob you, or you think I’m going to be committing some random act of vandalism based on your profile of me.”