Wither The Gas Station


“DSCF0011” by improbcat is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 

A few weeks ago my wife and I went to visit some friends in upstate New York. Just a few miles from the Canadian border in fact. As we neared the border I, like many Canadians before me, decided to wait until crossing to fill up with gas. Cheaper, some say better quality, gas has always been a perk when taking a jaunt to the States.

Having made it through the border crossing without any problems, we set off in search of a gas station. While we passed several, they were all long closed and boarded-up. We arrived at our destination, now running lower on gas than I wanted, without seeing one operating gas station.

Cheaper, some say better quality, gas has always been a perk when taking a jaunt to the States

Our hosts assured us that we had enough gas to get to the evidently sole gas station on the way back the next day. Sure enough on our return north we were able to gas up, but not before driving several miles beyond where we wanted to go. So what has happened to cause so many gas stations to close?

Given Americans’ love affair with their vehicles, you might think gas stations – or filling stations as the used to be called – would be a secure if competitive business. But it seems that the advent of electric vehicles has taken its toll on stations. 

According to an article from Slate: “Between 1994 and 2013, the number of retail fueling sites in the U.S. fell from 202,800 to 152,995—a 25 percent decline.”

But there is more to it than just electric and hybrid vehicles. As populations grow and the need for housing increases many gas station owners realized their land was worth more than what they could make selling gas so they sold their property to condominium developers for vast amounts of money. 

Goober Pyle

I suppose that with the dying-off of filling stations Goober Pyle would have to work at Walmart automotive or Jiffy Lube were he around today. 

Published by DCMontreal

DCMontreal - Deegan Charles Stubbs - is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

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