There's been a lot of speculation in the local blogosmear that gas prices are bringing to an end the long commutes that many people who work in Kansas City but live in suburban or rual areas face.
Tonyskansascity says, "the days of driving more than 50 miles back and forth are at an end for middle-class workers."
Let's Go KC sites a study that indicates, "households in areas where you can walk, bike, or bus to work and errands spend much less on gasoline than households in neighborhoods that are dependent on the automobile for transportation." Umm, duh! We don't think we need a study to tell us that free or government subsidized transportation is cheaper than owning and driving a car.
BlogKC says, "most Kansas Citians already spend more on transportation than on housing."
Even the KC Star chimed in with "high gas prices threaten to drain small towns’ populations."
There's never a shortage of B.S. in this town when it comes to convincing KC's suburbanites to move back to the city. The Star and other blogs now seem to be going the extra mile, sort of speak.
In the Star's take on the subject they claim that most commuters are traveling to jobs that pay little more than minimum wage. The Star seriously needs to site a source for this ridiculous statement. It's highly improbable that a worker who makes a little over $40 a day would spend what little cash they have on gas and a reliable vehicle. Even when gas was only $1.28 a gallon that didn't make economic sense. If the claim is accurate, it probably says more about why the worker is making minimum wage than it does about the feasibility of commuting twenty plus miles.
The other false assertion being made is that moving into the city will be the cure for all your gas price woes. Again, if this claim were true, how is one supposed to be able to afford to move if they can't afford gas? Last we checked moving wasn't free. There are all sorts of costs involved like realtor fees, costs to move all your crap, costs to get your home to a saleable condition (if you even could sell it in this poor housing climate), we could go on, but you get the point. And if you are thinking about actually moving into the city of Kansas City, you can look forward to that one percent earnings tax and your water bill doubling or tripling over the next couple years because the city needs $3 billion to fix its broken sewage infrastructure.
Moving to save money because gas went from $2 last summer to $4 this is a great example of being penny smart and dollar dumb, kind of like paying a $10,000 premium for a hybrid vehicle. We can think of a whole lot of easier and cheaper ways to save money on your commute. For instance, you might try catching the bus in the suburbs and riding it into town, car pooling, or practicing extreme fuel efficiency.
So don't start packing your bags, just yet.