Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Loneliest Gas Station in the Northeast

Along I-84 West, approaching the last NY exit, there is a special intersection the average motorist does not know about.

The exit is for Port Jervis, NY.  Port Jervis is a small city in New York with a fascinating history.  To the traveler there is another significance.  Cheap gas....but not in Port Jervis.

NJ, NY and PA come together at Port Jervis.  The PA community is across the Delaware River and is called Matamoras. It is the easternmost spot in Pennsylvania. For NJ, the township of Montague (the northernmost spot in New Jersey) highlights one of the most bizzare aspects of differences in state law.

Getting off of I-84 you are still in NY.  Right off the interstate is a gas station.  Wise travelers ignore that station, knowing that a few hundred yards down the road is the New Jersey border.  Right past the NJ border cluster several gas stations.  Yesterday, when we stopped for gas, these stations were 30 cents a gallon less than the Port Jervis station....and featured the famous NJ full service gas pumping.

Yes....much cheaper gas....and you don't even have to pump it yourself.

NJ is one of two states that prohibit self service gas pumping (the other is Oregon).  The NJ law dates from 1949.  There have been several attempts (unsuccessful, obviously) to repeal this law.  As a result, the lucky teenagers of New Jersey can grow up without learning to pump their own gas.  Full service is the law.

It is so strange seeing this.  Each cluster of pumps has an attendant and they pump your gas and take your credit card, debit card or cash.  If you are lucky, they will even clean your windshield.

Just like in the old days.  You know, those old days that I grew up in.

Who would ever thought of how strange it felt?

As for the gas prices....we normally don't take this route for a trip we make several times a year but we may just rethink that.

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