Transportation puzzles

Why is it that the fastest airline route from Knoxville to Seattle goes through Dallas?  I mean, I can see going through Denver or some other large city that’s sort of on the way, but Dallas?  Some of the other choices were Chicago, Pittsburgh, and even Los Angeles.  None made any sense to me.

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The gas station nearest my house ran out of fuel last Friday, priced at $4.99/gal.  This morning, they had fuel — at $3.99/gal.  It’s still no great bargain, but you can’t convince me that all the refineries closed for Saturday’s hurricane are magically back online, having piped their product some 800 miles already.  No, there was something else at play this weekend.

That said, my Weigels was still 50-60 cents per gallon cheaper than other stations along the turnpike this morning.  Gamma had stopped in Weigels last night to buy milk on her way home, and she said it was the saddest, lonliest place (on their fourth day with no fuel to sell).

I think that frustration over gas prices has had at least one positive effect on people: cars seem more courteous, giving a thumbs-up (and plenty of room) as they pass.

8 Responses to “Transportation puzzles”

  1. on 17 Sep 2008 at 3:11 pm deichmans

    Yes, and I saw you pedaling on the Turnpike this morning — go you! 🙂

    Frankly, the fact that Knoxville sported the highest gas prices in the nation has to make one wonder. It takes two-three weeks to go from crude oil to delivered, refined product in the gas station — so last week’s diminished supply was right on track following the Louisiana Off-shore Oil Production (LOOP) slowdown for GUSTAV.

    But the curious thing is the messages coming last Wed. or Thurs. from the Knoxville News-Sentinel (via Twitter and other Web2.0 networks) recommending that their friends “gas up” quickly. How could they have known? And who would have benefited from the price spike that was spurred locally by the panicked rush on gas stations thanks to KN-S reporting?

    The State AG needs to dig deep into this one.

  2. on 17 Sep 2008 at 3:22 pm Netmom

    Unfortunately, Tennessee does not aggressively pursue price-gouging complaints like some other states. The penalty is $1,000, but Hubby and his buds at work figured that stations were probably clearing an extra $2,500 per day, so the fine wouldn’t even cut into their profits.

    Nothing to lose, it seems.

  3. on 17 Sep 2008 at 6:45 pm LissaKay

    Rand Simberg gives a pretty good explaination here: http://www.transterrestrial.com/archives/2008/09/economic_ignora.html and also links to Rich, who explains it as well. Not pretty, not fun, but the way it is.

  4. on 17 Sep 2008 at 6:48 pm girlfriend

    Probably the hub for that specific airline. They have a tendency to go through the hub.

  5. on 17 Sep 2008 at 10:13 pm Joel

    What gf said.

    WRT airline travel, this has been going on for well over a decade, Netmom. You need to get out more.

  6. on 18 Sep 2008 at 10:19 am Napster

    I don’t know about Tennessee, but after Hugo, in SC, the fine was applied per gouge, not per day. Ten customers $10,000 fine.

  7. on 18 Sep 2008 at 3:27 pm girlfriend

    But who got the money?

  8. on 18 Sep 2008 at 7:13 pm Netmom

    Joel, sometimes I wish I got out even less.

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