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Jersey wants a choice on pump-your-own, full-serve gas stations, poll shows

Most women want the option of full-service gas stations

By David Wildstein, April 11 2022 11:00 am

Most New Jerseyans want to be able to pump their own gas as long as the full service option remains available, a new Monmouth University poll released on Monday.

While 54% of the state prefers a hybrid option of self and full service, an additional 37% support self-service without full service and 70% of the state “would pump (their) own has if it was cheaper than full service.”

“New Jerseyans looking for a self-service option seem to want it for the convenience, not because they expect to save money,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.  “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.”

The poll shows a significant gender gap.

Just 28% of women would back self-service gas in the absence of a full-service option – 48% of men would back that option – and 45% of women and 63% of men would support self-service if full service were also available. But 62% of women – and 78% of men – want the lowest-priced gasoline, even if it means pumping their own.

“The old saying is true.  While Jersey boys may be fine with self-serve, Jersey girls don’t pump gas.  Or at least they don’t want to,” Murray said.

Independents, by a 55%-42% margin, prefer a hybrid system, while Republicans favor pump-your-own (58%-38%).  Democrats are split at 48%-49%.

There is renewed debate over New Jersey’s 73-year tradition of full-service gas stations. A bi-partisan group of lawmakers have introduced the “Motorist Fueling Choice and Convenience Act” (A-3105), which ends a statutory prohibition of self-dispensing fuel.

“We’re gratified that the highly regarded Monmouth University Poll asked the right question, unlike the previous Rutgers/Eagleton poll whose results on this issue were misleading. 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,” said Sal Risalvato,  the executive director of New Jersey Gasoline C-Store, Automotive Association 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.”

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted from March 31 to April 4, 2022 with a sample size of 802 New Jersey adults and a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

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