In Consumer Behavior, Signs of Gas Price Pinch
By MOTOKO RICH and STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
High gasoline prices have not derailed the economic recovery, but that's small comfort to Loraine Greene. A customer relations manager in the Hudson Valley of New York, Ms. Greene spent the weekend packing up to move to a rental house much closer to work.
At $4 a gallon, gas is too expensive to justify the 50-mile round-trip commute.
"The option was either to sell my truck and get something smaller, or to try to get closer to work," said Ms. Greene. She chose to move. The new house is just eight miles from the office.
Conserving miles has become a new business priority at Topical BioMedics, where Ms. Greene works in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Her boss, Lou Paradise, recently invested in cloud computing so employees could access documents and programs and work from home more. He hands out gas cards as bonuses and birthday gifts, and holds seminars on how to make a car more energy-efficient. And when employees have to drive somewhere on business, he urges them to use the company cars — a Volkswagen TDI, a clean-diesel car and a Ford Transit Connect van, which is relatively fuel-efficient.
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