Air is free.
That’s what I always thought at least, until one rainy night I decided I needed to fill up my tires.
I was leaving for home the next day and had a leaky tire and thought I should fill it up to avoid a flat in the middle of Highway 94. I was leaving early so I decided to be proactive and fill it up the night before despite the pouring rain. Now, not only have I run out to my car in the pouring rain I’ve taken a special trip to the BP.
I get out of the car and start to check my tire pressure, get soaked, but get all four tires checked. I need to fill up three. I then turn to go get the hose to start filling up those three. As I walk up to the hose I see a sign “Air — $1.00″, I was off-put and fed up with the rain so I just went home.
I couldn’t believe that they were charging to put air in your tires. I had never experienced this before, and did not have any money with me, let alone quarters.
There are basic human needs that everyone should have access too. These include, water, food, shelter, and of course air. Without air, people wouldn’t be able to breath, and thus wouldn’t be able to survive, we would all suffocate.
We try to help the homeless by providing a place away from the elements in a homeless shelter. We help those who can’t eat by having soup kitchens and providing food aid to third world countries as well as clean water.
If air is a basic human right, shouldn’t we be able to use the air for whatever we need it for? It’s all around us anyway.
Overall, a dollar isn’t much to fill up your car tires, especially for those of us who are able to find the funds to attend a private college, but the problem is more with the principle of the issue. Air is something that has always been free, it is free to the station because they can get it from the surrounding environment.
If the station has to pay the start up fee to build a building, install pumps, and run all the underground piping, an air compressor would seem to be a minor cost, and one that is critical to have a full service station. The compressor that pumps the air probably does have an initial cost, but all the other gas stations that provide the same service, do not charge to use the compressor.
Maybe this is related to the modernity of gas stations these days. In the past, they were considered service stations, where someone pumped your gas for you, and would wash your windshield and fill up your tires. Now we are left to do this ourselves, it comes with the changing times, and people’s desire to be more independent and efficient.
Overall, a dollar to fill up your tires is probably not a big deal in the long run, and you can always go across the street and give your business to the Holiday — where the air is free, and you can have happy full tires for your long trip home.