I don’t know about you but it has been ages since I last boarded a public bus. It’s so long ago that I am not even aware of the fares to board a public bus now. I think it was RM0.90 during the days when I used to take Intrakota buses. As for LRT and monorail, I do take them occasionally, but mainly because I am very sure that I will not be able to find a parking space at my destination. If not, it’s usually because I am meeting someone at destination.
Yes, I am part of a big and growing population of Malaysians who are spoilt with the luxury of having my own car. Are you one of us?
When I wrote about the increasing prices of crude oil a few weeks ago, everyone was astonished and of course, we all agreed that an increase in domestic petrol price is imminent. Many are speculating that the next increase will be significant… very significant.
Why?... Well, where else is the government going to get the funding to have economic region left right and centre? Also, they need to send another tourist to space, remember? And this is on top to of the fact that the increase will have to make up for the losses suffered for not increasing petrol price till the end of 2007. So like it or not, the next increase should be a really painful one.
But really, how much will the imminent increase impact our driving habit?
Many commented in that entry that they will probably cut down on a lot of expenses in view of the imminent increase and some even said they are probably going to start riding bicycles. Now, I do not doubt the significance of an increase in petrol price, but I do doubt that it will actually impact our driving habit.
Let’s do a simple calculation…
Let’s say an average car which can house about 40 litres of petrol. That would need RM76.80 to fill up its tank at the current petrol price.
For analysis purposes, let’s say the price increases to RM3 per litre. That will mean RM120 is needed to fill the tank, an increase of RM43.20 for each full tank. I have asked around and I found out that an average Malaysian driver pumps about 4 full tanks a month. This translates to an additional petrol cost of RM172.80 per month.
So tell me… for an additional RM172.80 per month, are you going to get yourself amongst the crowd in the LRT everyday? For an additional RM171.80 per month, are you going to start riding bicycle? For an additional RM171.80 per month… are you seriously going to stop driving?
Let’s not kid ourselves. Most if not all of us will still be willing to get our ass stuck in countless hours of traffic jam even if petrol goes up to as high as RM3 per litre. We Malaysians are car freaks and if 2 – 3 hours of traffic jam a day can't stop us from driving, you think about RM200 can? You got to be kidding me…
And I dare say that even if petrol is to increase to RM4 per litre which translate into approximately RM332.80 extra a month, we will all still continue to drive. Despite the abundant complaints about petrol price, I think it will have no impact to our driving lifestyle… not at all.
**Here is wishing all Hindu readers of AZAIG a very Happy Deepavali**