Bloomberg reported today that crude oil prices could climb as high as $120 per barrel within the next six months. In California gas prices have already topped the $4.00 per gallon mark. It looks like the politics of oil combined with the weakening dollar could spike the price even higher in the future. Read the story here.

While all of this is playing out on the international level, what are we doing locally to cope with this? I can think of a few things that we should be considering to ease the impacts:

1) Pay attention and vote your conscience on the Spokane Transit Authority’s reauthorization of the local option sales tax. STA will ask voters in May to re-authorize the same amount of sales tax it already collects for operations today. This is not an increase. Read more about how STA plans to spend that money here. By the way, if voters fail to re-authorize the existing tax, STA will have to scale back on the amount of service it provides today.

2) While a 2006 ballot measure failed to move light rail forward, plans for that project have not been tossed out. In fact, a new non-profit has been formed to resurrect the project. The group is called The Inland Empire Rail Transit Association, and you can check out their web site here.

3) Finally, there has been some discussion of connecting the STA bus system with the City Link bus system in Kootenai County. While those talks are preliminary at this time, there certainly is a need for a bus transit connection between Kootenai and Spokane counties. (Heck, I commute from Post Falls every day and I would pay to ride it).

Question: what do you think we should be doing locally to offset the impacts of rising fuel costs?

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