Online Poll: Gas hike would affect habits

More than half the respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online polls said they would drive less, buy a smaller car or use alternative transportation if gasoline prices top $7 per gallon by next year.

More than one-third of the respondents – 187 people or 33.8 per cent – said they would drive less.

“I’ll plan trips more carefully and eliminate casual driving,” said one person. “We become undisciplined when cost is insignificant.”

“I will definitely plan my trips more carefully to avoid excess driving,” echoed someone else. “To a certain extent, I’ve already started doing that.”

“I will walk more in my district to get things done,” said another respondent.

Forty-nine people – 8.9 per cent – said they would use alternative transportation, while 44 people – 7.9 per cent – said they would buy a smaller car if gas prices top $7 per gallon.

“I have already down-sized,” said one person. “I used to get 12 miles per gallon and now I’m getting 30+ mpg.”

“I bought a smaller car and use a motorcycle,” said someone else.

The second largest segment of respondents – 151 people or 27.3 per cent – said they would just pay the price and continue driving as they do now.

“Unfortunately, I use my vehicle to make a living, so I have no choice but to continue doing things the way I am,” said one person.

“Children still have to get to school, groceries need to be bought, etc, so I will still have to drive my car regardless,” said someone else.

“It’s just gas, pay up, shut up, buckle up and drive on, just like the rest of us do,” said another person. “If not, walk or cycle. Your choice.”

“In this climate it is not possible to use non-petrol-using transportation, unless your workplace has bathroom facilities or if your clients accept you being soaked with sweat and smell,” said someone else.

Another large segment of voters – 101 people or 18.3 per cent – said they would leave the Cayman Islands if gas topped $7 per gallon.

“Stop buying oil from Muslims,” said one person.

Twenty-one people – 3.8 per cent – responded ‘other’ to the question.

“Probably sell one of the cars and carpool it to work,” said one person.

“Move closer to work/school,” said someone else.

“Ride my bicycle for moderate journeys and my car when absolutely necessary,” said another respondent.

“Buy a hybrid vehicle,” said one person.

One tourist said he would find another place to vacation while another said his family would likely reduce the length of its usual two-week stay here.

One resident noted that higher oil prices would also affect other prices.

“Sadly, gas is not only used for cars and the price we pay affects just about every aspect of our lives. If gas prices go up to $7 will we be able to afford electricity and food? Driving a car would be the least of our problems.”

Another said Cayman needed “real and reliable public transportation for the residents and tourists to use”.

Next week’s poll question

Should Cayman’s legislators be able to draw a pension while they’re still drawing a salary?

Yes

Yes, but only if they’ve reached the age of 60

No

I don’t know

To participate in this poll, please visit www.caycompass.com

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