Let’s start by giving the Monmouth University Poll credit for asking the right questions when it comes to pumping your own gas.
Instead of just asking if you would rather have self-serve stations instead of full-serve stations, the Monmouth Poll asks residents if the state should have both – and, more importantly, if people would be more willing to pump their own gas if it meant they got a discount.
No surprise here, the Monmouth poll found that 78% of men and 62% of women would pump their own gas if it were cheaper 15 cents cheaper a gallon to do so.
In addition, 45% of women and 63% of men would support a self-serve option if full service also was available. A clear majority (60%) would be against adding self-serve if it meant stations could do away with full-serve.
This being Jersey, we have to get the Jersey attitude in there, too: Few New Jerseyans (21%) believe that introducing a pump-your-own option would bring down the cost of gas. Most (76%) believe that the self-service price would stay about the same as the full-service price is now.
Patrick Murray, the director of the institute, summed it up this way:
“New Jerseyans looking for a self-service option seem to want it for the convenience, not because they expect to save money,” he said. “But they also want to ensure there is access to a full-service attendant for times they do not want to get out of the car to fill their tank.”
Sal Risalvato, the executive director of New Jersey Gasoline C-Store, Automotive Association, was pleased with the findings. Station owners, he said, are eager to add self-service, while keeping full-service.
Risalvato was even happier about the questions that were asked.
“The Monmouth survey mirrors our own internal polling that shows the majority of New Jerseyans support self-serve gas as long as the option of full-service remains, which was always part of the recently introduced legislation,” he said.
“We hope this poll helps lawmakers better understand that New Jerseyans do support-self serve and we urge them to begin acting on the legislation in the coming weeks.”
Yes, the great gas question lives on for a few more weeks.
And that’s without asking this question: Would you be willing to pump your own gas – regardless of the price – if it meant you didn’t have to wait for the understaffed station to get to your car. I know my answer.
I also know the reality of all this: This poll, like all others, likely will not have any impact. New Jersey is a no-pump state and most feel it will stay that way.
Of course, that begs the question: Is it good for the state to be the only outlier? Monmouth asked that one, too.
A majority (55%) of Garden State residents say that New Jersey being the only state that does not allow self service at any gas station is a good thing for the state. Just 34% see this as a bad thing.
“The argument that New Jersey should be embarrassed because it is an anomaly on this issue doesn’t hold much sway with residents here,” Murray said. “Being the last full-service-only state in the country seems to be a source of pride for many New Jerseyans.”
Jersey pride – on that there is no debate.