NEW YORK — Gasoline prices are declining, but they’re still higher than they were a year ago. In addition, inflation causes everything to rise in price. If you are looking to save on commuting to work, here are some recommendations:
AAA recommends that you avoid traffic and adjust your daily routine to avoid unnecessary driving. Whenever possible, visit shopping centers where you can run multiple errands in one place and only use premium gas in cars that recommend or need it.
“Paying premium gas for a car that uses regular gas is a waste of money and does not benefit the vehicle,” according to AAA.
Mitigating your speed limit can help you save money. Most vehicles have optimal use of their gasoline up to 50 mph. For every 5 mph faster you drive, it costs you an additional 30 cents per gallon, according to fueleconomy.org.
For more tips on how to save on gas, the government offers tips on how to choose a gas-efficient vehicle and how to save on gas during hot or cold weather.
You can save money by searching which gas stations offer the cheapest prices.
“Although there is no perfect remedy to save a lot of money on this product, gas station apps can help,” NerdWallet wrote in an article listing the top five apps.
Since the start of the pandemic, state and local governments have provided financial assistance in a variety of ways.
Vicente Gonzalez, a mail carrier in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, who has experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic and inflation, has benefited from help from the government and his community.
“I was able to benefit from help with school supplies, mental health services and food distributions,” said Gonzalez, who has also volunteered at drop-off centers in his community.
Some cities and states have given financial aid to their residents to alleviate the burden of inflation and the high cost of gasoline. Colorado will give residents $750 to cover some of their expenses and Chicago is sending out $150 gas cards and $50 prepaid transit cards.
Ask colleagues or neighbors if you can travel together
Asha Weinstein Agrawal, a professor at San Jose State University, recommends that people travel in a group, even if it’s only once a week. According to the US Census, only 9% of workers travel in a group.
Working even once a week from home can make a difference. If your work can be done from home, companies should be open to the idea of covering some of the travel costs, at least temporarily, said Abbie Langston, director of equitable economics at PolicyLink, a national research institute.
If that is not possible, Yanira Merino, national president of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, suggests that people talk to their companies about financial incentives to pay for commuting to work.
“I think it’s time to organize our community and try to do it as much as possible in places where public transportation is not available,” said Merino.
Children, students and people over 65 are some of the groups that qualify for a discount.
For example, the ticket in New York is discounted for people over 65, who have certain disabilities or a service animal. The Los Angeles Metro offers a discount to people who earn less than $41,400 a year.
Buying monthly or 10-day packages, depending on how much you use transportation, can help you save.
People who use transportation in Boston can buy unlimited day passes, which allow them to travel on different types of public transportation for $11, but buying a seven-day unlimited pass costs $22.50. If you used the shuttle to get to work five days a week, you’d save $32.50 by purchasing the seven-day pass.
With pre-tax benefits, workers do not pay taxes on the amount of their salary that is used to cover commuting costs. The maximum amount per month that can be used as tax benefits is $280, according to the IRS.