VACostCutting

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas Prices: Necessity and Opportunity

I'm surprised that despite skyrocketing gas prices, I have not seen any directives for state employees to curtail vehicle travel for non-essential trips, or any requests for agencies to consider plans for reducing travel by using technology. If anything, from my keyhole vantage point, I'm seeing more car travel.

The price of gas will undoubtably impact the state budget. I would think it necessary, assuming no additional appropriations, to reduce travel to stay within the current budget. I also think the gas price situation gives us an opportunity to rethink how we do business long-term, replacing travel by car with phone and internet contacts.

4 Comments:

  • great post.

    still working on that other thing. will let you know.

    By Blogger Chris Saxman, at 4/27/2006 9:30 AM  

  • Will, Great points.

    I think in addition to reducing non-essential travel, this also should encourage more examination of telecommuting and other alternatives to doing business "as usual." You are right that technology should allow us to change the ways we do business long-term.

    This session, the legislature passed HJ144, which establishes a joint subcommittee to study ways in which telework opportunities for state and private sector employees can be increased.

    Increased telework opportunities have a two-fold benefit... reducing fuel costs on state vehicles/state employee mileage reimbursements, as well as being one approach to helping get more workers off of the roads during high-congestion times.

    It doesn't fix everything, but it is certainly one approach that should be examined and included in long-term planning...

    By Blogger Whitney Duff, at 4/27/2006 4:51 PM  

  • It also requires management to trust employees which unfortunately appears to be impossible in some agencies. Some managers seem to think the world will surely come to an end if employees can't be constantly physically monitored and can't be asked to hand in a leave slip for a 5-minute-late arrival to work.

    I pray telecommuting will become available but I think the old-school mindset must change if it is.

    It would surely save the employees a lot of money as well as cut down on traffic. Tolls, parking fees and fuel expenses are huge! We're talking $50-$60 a week for some of us. That's a pretty good chunk of my income.

    By Blogger Lucy Jones, at 5/01/2006 12:17 PM  

  • I have seen that the trucks on the "Evil Rt. 81" seem to be driving a bit slower. I have heard several times on talk radio where truckers have called in and said that they get about 4 mpg driving over 70 mph but it increases to almost 6.g mpg when 60 mph or so.. That is a great % savings and I find that I do not pass big trucks on 81 as much. This past week I drove to work on 81 doing the 65 mph speed limit and most days do not pass anybody in the 30 miles I drive. I also noticed that it is rare to be passed by a truck when doing 65mph. I do notice many cars passing me at much more then the speed limit and it is interesting to see many with "Kerry-Edwards" stickers still on the bumpers!!!

    By Blogger RightsideVA, at 5/07/2006 3:30 PM  

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