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Save your money by beating the high cost of gas

March 12, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - There are several traditional options that drivers can resort to in an effort to escape rising gasoline prices.

In some cases, motorists have no other alternative but to drive their cars or trucks to work or elsewhere. But in other circumstances, an increased number of people are expected to resort to biking, walking, car-pooling or using public transportation, especially with gas prices hovering near $4 a gallon locally.

The Marquette County Transit Authority has numerous daily routes at affordable rates. Those daily routes include Marquette-Negaunee-Ishpeming; Negaunee shuttle; Ishpeming shopper's shuttle; Marquette Trowbridge Park; K.I. Sawyer area-Gwinn-Marquette; Marquette shopper and Marquette north-south-mall routes run daily.

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Marq Tran also runs to Marquette-Gwinn-Palmer and western Marquette County, but not daily.

The Marq Tran website states that fixed route fares are approximately half the cost of door-to-door service. Tickets and monthly or quarterly passes are available at a discount for regular riders.

Senior citizens, students (kindergarten through college) and persons with disabilities ride for half fare.

Preschool children and personal care attendants ride free of charge.

Rising outdoor temperatures are also expected to put more people in the mood for walking, biking or running. A sign outside Lakeshore Bike in Marquette this week urged readers to buy bike, not gas.

The writers from the website list some of the many ways to save on gasoline:

- Take the bus and carpool. The best way to save money on driving is by not driving. If you do the same route every day, organize a carpool or take the bus. This might also reduce stress, as sitting in rush hour traffic alone isn't always the best start to the day.

- Check your tire pressure. Get a tire pressure gauge. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. You could save as much as 3 percent on gas, which for an average driver would be about $50 a year.

- Use a smaller, reliable car. A big gas guzzler or sports car costs more, has higher insurance premiums, uses more gas, and overall, is more expensive. Unless you're regularly driving with a family, a small car will do.

- Be a one car family. You can easily save $500 a month just by getting rid of an extra car. Find out exactly how necessary the extra car is, and determine if you really need it.

- Take off the luggage rack. If you are driving around with a luggage rack, you could be reducing your fuel efficiency by 10 percent. Take it off it when you aren't using it. This would save an average driver about $150 a year.

- Use a cash back credit card. For all purchases, you should be using a credit card that gives you cash back.

- Junk in the trunk. Some people use their cars as a second closet. All this extra weight reduces your mileage.

- Don't buy premium. Use regular gas unless your car's manual says that you need premium. If your car doesn't require premium, then buying it will not help your mileage or your performance.

- Know when to use the air conditioning. At slow speeds, it is more efficient to roll down the windows. At high speeds, air conditioning is more fuel efficient because rolling down the windows increases wind resistance.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.



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