Corzine proposes trying self-serve to trim gas prices cases


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gov. Jon Corzine wants to try allowing New Jersey drivers to pump their own gas as a way of holding down skyrocketing gasoline prices.

Corzine also called today for a study of rolling back the top speed limit to 55 mph, and he plans to allow hybrid fuel vehicles to drive in the Turnpike's High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.

The governor's patchwork of initiatives - unveiled at a Statehouse press conference with three of his cabinet members - comes as state and federal politicians scramble to provide some relief for motorists. The average statewide price for a gallon of regular gasoline on Thursday was $2.87 a gallon, a penny higher than on Wednesday, and 78 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA.

New Jersey banned self-service gas stations in 1947, and Oregon is the only other state in the nation that doesn't allow its motorists to pump their own fuel.

Corzine will ask the Legislature to approve a three-month pilot program that will allow self-serve gas stations along the Turnpike and in a few other local communities. He said economic estimates show that allowing self-service could reduce gas prices by up to six cents per gallon. If the pilot program shows a real price drop, he said he would push for a complete statewide ban.



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