Self serve gas stations troublesome for disabled drivers
Published Friday, May 18, 2012 6:02PM ADT
The decline in full service gas stations doesn't bother most able bodied people, but for disabled drivers it can be a major inconvenience.
Darrel MacDonald says as a paraplegic, it is tough to get around and now it's even more difficult since his usual gas station has stopped offering full service.
"I was peed off," says MacDonald. "Full service is getting harder and harder to find."
MacDonald can't physically get out to pump gas himself and he's not the only one noticing the increasing switch to self serve.
"When I was young, I used to pump gas as a job. Now those jobs are gone a long time ago," says one resident.
"This complaint has been going on for a long time and I don't see an immediate change. It's all about profit," says Darrell Robar of the Canadian Paraplegic Association.
Dan Shaw is a marketing instructor at Dalhousie University. He says the number of customers using full service is shrinking.
"The business case isn't there to maintain a full service offering and people aren't willing to pay a premium of a couple of cents for that product," says Shaw.
"I might as well give up driving again, it's not worth the hassle," says MacDonald.
It is up to individual businesses to decide what to offer, as there are no provincial regulation to keep full service stations open.
"I don't think we could mandate it, otherwise people would say we would have to compensate the difference if you want someone to pump gas for people who are disabled," says Service Nova Scotia Minister John MacDonell.
For MacDonald, the move to save at the pump is taking away his independence.
"Saving is nice yes, but I still can't get out and pump gas," says MacDonald.
With one less full service station, MacDonald says he's watching how much he drives while on the hunt for another place to fill his tank.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Felicia Yap