With gas prices on the rise and getting close to $2 a litre in the East York area, many drivers have resorted to other methods of getting to where they need to be.
As the world starts to re-open from the pandemic, people are using their cars again. Which means using more gas, according to Driving.ca.
East York drivers have taken to different but familiar ways of travelling, such as bike riding, to avoid the hefty prices.
“I never thought I would see the day where I would have to use a bike ever again,” Local Andrea Nguyen said. “I haven’t ridden a bike in nearly five years; this is the only way I can get to work now.”
Nguyen was at an Esso station on Danforth Avenue filling up. Nguyen’s commute time has been affected – what was once a 5 to 10 minute drive every day to work, now takes up to 20 minutes by bike.
However, she can’t always bike ride to work due to Toronto’s inconsistent weather.
“There are so many other finances that I need to worry about other than gas,” she said. “Since I’ve had to use my bike, it’s been a rollercoaster. One day it’s snowing, the next it’s raining and then the next it’s perfect weather. It’s been quite the struggle, surprisingly. If I didn’t live a bike ride away from work, I would have to take the TTC again.
“I have no choice but to fill up on the weekends, because I have to drive to go and see family.”
Another consumer, Derrick Miller, was filling up in preparation for a trip.
“I was so used to taking my car every day to work, I never thought I would have to take the TTC ever again,” Miller said. “I’ve been riding the TTC for the past week, and it’s my first time riding it in over five years. A lot of my co-workers and friends are doing the same thing as me as well. It reminds me of when I used to commute to college.”
Miller, just like Nguyen, has had to leave driving to the weekends when he needs it most. His commute as also has been affected: he used to take 30 minutes to drive to work, but now has to leave an hour earlier.
“The only downside of commuting like this though is the longer wait times and the ride fare being so high,” he said. “It’s been crazy though, with the gas prices going up, the TTC has been more packed than usual. For my foreseeable future it looks like I’ll be riding the TTC as long as these gas prices continue to climb.”
Public transport ridership increases
With many drivers like Miller starting to use public transportation again, it looks like that the ridership has started to increase as well.
TTC and Metrolinx officials said they have noticed an increase to ridership over the past few days, but are unsure if that is related to the rising gas prices, according to a CP24 report.
“We have noticed a difference,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told CP24. “We have started to hear from customers saying, ‘Well, these gas prices are just too high for me, I’m going to choose GO.’ It’s just become a much more affordable way to travel and that is one of the reasons why people choose their mode of transportation.”
Gas prices began to rise at the beginning of March, and have continued to climb ever since. “I can’t see a scenario where prices won’t go higher and remain higher,” Dan McTeague, President of Canadians for Affordable Energy, told CTV News Toronto. “I think $1.90 per litre in the Greater Toronto Area is certainly within range … That could happen in the next four to five weeks.”
McTeague believes gas prices are rising due to the crisis going on in Ukraine.