Families aren't the only ones examining their driving habits as gas prices climb. Municipal governments, police departments and school districts are also tightening their belts, as budgets get stretched by high fuel costs, the Los Angeles Times reports today.
Expect to be hearing about the issue now, as your local governments cut back ... or later, when they ask you to increase their budgets at tax time.
In suburban areas like Seattle's Northshore district, the Times reports, school officials are asking children to walk farther to their bus stops so districts can squeeze a few more miles per gallon.
The scaling back of bus routes could be an inconvenience to parents, but provided there's a safe sidewalk to use, a little extra walk won't hurt most students. Reacting to the new bus route by dropping kids off in the family SUV would not be the best solution, from an environmental perspective; reducing unnecessary school bus trips is. Older diesel school buses can pump out twice the asthma-inducing pollution of a tractor trailer. (Click here for an analysis of the greenest ways to get your kid to school.)
Diesel, which runs most school buses, has been at or near all-time high prices per gallon, and currently sits at an average of about $4.76 a gallon. Gasoline prices this weekend hit a new record, of nearly $4.09 a gallon, on average. That has some police departments eliminating patrols or even putting their beat cops in golf carts to save on fuel.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.