Drivers finding ways to "scoot" by gas prices - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Drivers finding ways to "scoot" by gas prices

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Gas prices have jumped another four cents a gallon, creating an average of $3.65.

That's 43 cents more than this time a year ago. The average for a gallon of gas in Chattanooga is $3.51.

We're still months away from the peak of travel season, leaving many to consider alternative means of transportation.

The answer may be scooters, says Scenic City Scooters who helped us crunch the numbers.

When you hear how far one of these bad boys can go on just a gallon of gas, you'll understand why they call scooters investments.

"Ninety-eight miles to the gallon," Bill Tracy says. "I really don't look at gas pump prices anymore."

Think about that, 98 miles to the gallon. Bill Tracy spends just $3 to $4 a week on gas, and he drives his scooter every day.

"People are spending $80 a week," he says. "Ah, I couldn't even think of that, it's inconceivable to me."

If $3.50 a gallon is inconceivable, what's going to happen if or when gas nears $5 a gallon as AAA predicts will happen in the coming months.

Hugh Schein, owner of Scenic City Scooters, will be working overtime, just as he did when prices approached $4 in 2008.

"We saw the business simply explode," Schein says. "Everything we had was sold, everything we could get was sold, everything we thought we could get was sold."

For Scenic City Scooters, 2008 was a record year. And they're bracing for the same perfect storm in 2012.

Hugh says he's answering calls daily from people trying to stop the hemorrhaging at the gas station.

Scooters there range from the smallest street legal rides, getting 110 MPG all the way to 500cc, which still gets 70 MPG.

"I can't tell you how many people have put their trucks in the garage because of the gas prices and buy a scooter as a second vehicle," Hugh says. "If you save one tank of gas in your truck a month, you'll ride the scooter for free."

Hugh says his scooters average $2,500.

He says if your serious about it, take a motorcycle course at Chattanooga State and make sure you wear a helmet.

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