New Jersey Self-Service Gas


For the past 73 years, New Jersey has stood by the unofficial motto, “Jersey girls don’t pump their own gas,” until now. Amid skyrocketing gas prices and a worker shortage, the industry has considered repealing the “1949 Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act” and converting it to a self-help model. 


The model was proposed by state assembly members to give drivers more options and lower the already dangerously high gas prices that continue to increase with the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine. The nationwide pandemic labor shortage has impacted the gasoline industry heavily, resulting in long lines that greatly inconvenience drivers. State assemblymember Carol Murphy hopes to aid drivers with the new bill to make gas cheaper and stations more convenient. 


However, this isn’t the first time a self-serve model has been proposed in New Jersey. In 2015, the legislature moved to allow drivers to pump their own gas, but the proposal was met with heavy resistance and ultimately blocked by former governor Chris Christie. The polls released by Fairleigh Dickinson University showed that Jerseyans prefer their convenience, as 72 percent of women and 55 percent of men voted to keep the full-service model.


Although, with the average gallon of gas costing over $4 in New Jersey, the industry believes this to be a cost-effective alternative that is guaranteed to lower the price of gas by “at least” 15 cents per gallon. Even though some may see the model as threatening jobs, many others claim that it prevents attendants from being forced to work double and triple overtime and saves companies money, keeping stations open. 


In order to make this a reality, a new bill must be posed and backed heavily in governing bodies in order to change the already existing law that prevents drivers from pumping their own gas. 


Jersey also might want to rethink its unofficial motto.