Ken Rodriguez - Ken Rodriguez
With crushing demand and only four fuel pumps, the manager, his brother-in-law and father spent a good chunk of Monday directing traffic.
Some motorists were honking. Others were yelling. A few were trying to cut in line.
“I was here from 9:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night,” says the manager, who will only identify himself as Ali.
It was crazy, all right. Ali didn't go home until the store ran out of gas.
Thankfully, fuel prices are falling across the city. In some places, they're almost dropping like the Dow.
And that got me to thinking: Will falling gas prices slow or reverse recent surges in carpooling, bicycling and walking?
VIA doesn't think so. Preliminary numbers show ridership in September jumped 15.5 percent from the same time last year. Historically, ridership is strong in October. And VIA plans to add service soon on the Northwest Side.
Transportation planners say she might be right. Surveys show new passengers are enjoying the benefits of the bus: saving on gas, helping the environment, reading on the way to work. What's not to like about a stress-free, rush-hour commute?
Sunny's was one of them, back in business with a full supply of fuel.
Where had everyone gone?
Ali, the manager, says his debit card machine broke. So a store that sold gas for $2.89 was hurting for business.
“We hope that will continue,” Ericksen says.