September 13, 2006

Is That a Prius Lane?

Each of the last two days, I had the "pleasure" of driving between Sunnyvale and Burlingame and spending way too much time on Highway 101 on the San Francisco Peninsula - a trip that according to Google Maps and Yahoo! should take only 30-plus minutes but in actuality ranges between an hour or an hour and a half. Spending so much time in a car over the last two days - there and back, there and back, made me think a lot about the quality of life, and whether I'd be best off just sitting on my rear and telecommuting everywhere.

But another thing struck me - to my left, in the carpool/commuter lane, I wasn't passed by a series of partnered businesspeople looking to save gas and time, or a family's minivan, but instead by Toyota Prius after Toyota Prius, with the occasional Honda Civic Hybrid thrown in for variety. As these high gas mileage hybrid cars have the option to drive in the carpool lane, I was continually mocked for continuing to drive my boring old 118,000+ mile 1998 Mercury Tracer, which gets a cool 25 or so miles a gallon itself. As I sat, admiring the dirt on my windshield and debated whether my back speakers were blown out or just falling apart, on my left, I would see Prius, Prius, Civic, Van, Prius, Van, Prius, Civic, Prius. And I'm jealous.

The only question is, if I were to plunk down $25,000 that I don't have on a car I don't yet need, how long would it take to make up the money on saved gas and saved time? It's time to break out the calculators - or I'll never know.

Listening to ''That's Right'', by Blank & Jones (Play Count: 5)

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