Americans driving less

As petrol prices hit record highs in the US, people are driving less, and taking public transportation more.

According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to a record $3.936. That compares with an average price per gallon of $3.23 last Memorial Day.

“With it being near $4 a gallon, you definitely have to drive slower and pick and choose when you’re going to do it,” said Steve Kahn of Roswell, Georgia, at a Memorial Day festival in Atlanta.

Some Americans have turned to public transportation. Ridership increased by 2.1 percent in 2007, in part because of rising gas prices, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the highest level in 50 years, the group said.

The Energy Information Administration says gas consumption for the first three months of 2008 is estimated to be down about 0.6 percent from the same time period in 2007.

For the summer season, gas consumption is expected to be down 0.4 percent from last year.

At current exchange rates I am paying $7.57 a gallon (€1.27 a litre) for petrol here in Ireland, most of that composed of taxes. It would be more if the euro was not so strong right now.

Oh for the days of $3.936 a gallon…(67 euro cent a litre).