Save your gas, ride your bike!

A buddy of mine in South Florida sent me this information. I'm seeing more and more stories like this pop up all over the place. I don't know about you but I think I've found one good thing about the rising cost of fuel.

Check out this story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

In May, more than 68,000 bikes were loaded onto Broward buses, an increase of nearly 6,000 since March, according to Broward County Transit. The agency did not have comparable numbers on bike ridership for 2007.

Palm Beach County buses also are packed with bike riders, although the numbers aren't tracked, Palm Tran spokeswoman Liliane Agee said.

Ralph Cunningham, 55, started riding his bike to work in Boca Raton years ago to stay healthy. Now, the high gas prices are what motivate him to leave his Chevy Blazer behind at his Oakland Park home.

On weekdays, Cunningham bikes eight miles and rides Tri-Rail to the church where he works in maintenance and food service.

Cunningham said the number of bike commuters on Tri-Rail jumped around the time gas prices hit $3 a gallon.
Its especially awesome in South Florida where pubic transportation has never really been so effective. I have family and friends down there so I know a little about the area.

For those of you unfamiliar with South Florida...it's huge. Systems like the Miami Metro Rail or Broward and Palm Beach bus services, seem to be useful for customers who live further east, closer to the Atlantic Coast and downtown areas...but there are even more folks living in suburbia, out west. For them public transportation can be useless. Especially when you like 20-30 miles West of your office building.

With $4 average gas prices, I think you'll see more and more people taking advantage of new routes. I myself once lived in a similar situation. I was living in the suburbs, about 20 miles from my office building downtown. Luckily for me, there was a bus route about 5 miles from my house. I used to ride to the bus stop, load up the bike, and get bussed all the way east. When it was quitting time, I'd do the same thing going back out West.

This is great for sooo many reasons and can be applied to benefit your financial situation, your health (biking is a great cardiovascular exercise and is also good for your knees and legs...duhh) and environmentally speaking, it's one of the greenest things you can do (especially since many cities are starting to use more efficient, hybrid and/or bio-fuel powered buses.)

check out NYC's fleet of hybrid-diesel buses.

When I took advantage of the bus system, I was going to school AND working so I had to save as much as I could. I've mentioned it before but sites like The Community Financial Services Association of America have more some great tips to get your savings back on track.

Think about it...Instead of spending $60-$70 a week for your car, you can spend less than that amount in a month alone for bus. For example, the Palm Beach bus system's monthly unlimited pass is only $55.

I'm definitely a little more optimistic about the "energy crisis." As far as gas prices are concerned...I say "bring it on." In the end, I think we'll look back and see how it caused us to adapt with all-around better solutions.

Also think about NOT voting for people who think they can solve our energy problems by either shaving a small tax off the price of fuel or by drilling for more oil (and possibly sacrificing environmentally protected areas to do so). Write your leaders and tell them how you feel. Link to my blog post, even!!! :)

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