All petrol in NZ has passed the crucially psychological $2/litre mark now. But, the pain has only just started – the NZ$ will lose further ground against the US dollar, and that will mean more pain. I reckon another 8% drop isn’t out of the question, which would push petrol up beyond $2.10, maybe $2.20. This flies in the face of my prediction that oil would come tumbling down because its price is not driven by logic, just speculators capitalising on ‘global terror’.
I don’t take the bus (because I’d need to take 3 to get to the office), and I don’t drive in rush hour (if possible), so I haven’t really noticed a difference in whether there are less people on the roads because of the increase, but I would imagine it will be very much related to the area. I doubt $2/litre fuel will have much impact on the traffic on Remuera Rd, but it might (speculatively) have a considerable impact in Puhinui Rd in South Auckland.
I expect, though, that a balance will prevail. People who can afford the petrol but take the bus because the traffic is horrible may move back to the car if traffic density becomes more palatable than breathing in other people’s body odour. People who take the car and curse the traffic each morning may feel the need to get into the bus, at least at a park-and-ride, and reduce their requirements for personal body space.