Gas Prices Fueling Moped Use

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Gas Prices Fueling Moped Use

Postby Micronaut » Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:55 pm

Gas Prices Fueling Moped Use
Cedric Moon -

It seems gas prices are constantly on the up and up. So, how about doing what thousands of other island residents are doing: trading in four wheels for two?

No second look was necessary for college sophomore Beth Stevens when she bought a moped to get around. "I don't think I need a car because I live in Hawai'i and I don't feel that a car is necessary right now," she says, "I spend $3.00 in gas and it can get me three days and that's it for a full tank."

That may be what attracts the nearly 14,000 current moped owners in the state. "I ride from 'Aiea all the way down to downtown. It costs me a $1.50, maybe, round-trip for gas and I still have gas left over," says moped owner Sean Dunn

For dealership, The Moped Company, the ever-rising gas prices meant ever-rising profits. They've seen a 40 to 50 percent increase in sales since the year and a half gas prices have been pumping up. "It's only about 50 to 60 miles per gallon and, so, if the gas price is $2.80 per gallon, they're paying $3.00 a gallon and that'll take them quite a ways," says business manager, Jennifer Purcell.

Plus they're easy to park, easy to maintain, easy to get around in. "The moped has turned out to be a more convenient means of transportation," adds Purcell.

But could the savings at the pumps and the convenience be coming at bigger costs like safety?

According to Honolulu police, they saw an average one to two moped fatalities from 1999 to 2004. But this year, so far, there have already been seven deaths. Then, there's the problem of weather, driving long distances, and lack of storage space. It's something car and motorcycle owner Alex Smith understands. I'm also taking stuff with me out to work that I can't carry out easily," he says.

That's why some people still hold onto their bigger engines but set some of their sights on the little ones.
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