Slight majority in NJ wants self-serve gas, but only if full service is still an option
Plenty of New Jerseyans like the fact that they live in the only U.S. state that prohibits self-serve at the gas pump, according to poll results released on Monday.
In a Monmouth University Poll of of 802 New Jersey adults, 34% say that New Jersey being the only state that doesn't allow pump-your-own at any gas station is a bad thing. A majority, 55%, say the distinction is a good thing for the state.
In the poll, 60% are opposed to a self-serve policy that does away with full service entirely. Fifty-four percent would be on board with a compromise: allow self-serve but have an attendant on duty for those who prefer full service. And 43% are opposed to just having the option for self-serve in the Garden State.
"Most New Jerseyans would like the option to pump their own gas, but they're not clamoring for it," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, told New Jersey 101.5.
Men are more likely than women to support self-serve only, as well as a self/full combination at gas stations, according to the poll.
"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, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and 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 issue of pump-your-own reignited in late February when legislation was introduced to bring self-serve gas to New Jersey. The bill would force gasoline retailers with more than four dispensers to still have a full-service pump in operation if they choose to go the self-serve route.
Weeks later, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-Union, indicated that he has no plans to advance the proposal, but said he'd reconsider if he were shown convincing data or polling.
Just 21% of respondents in the Monmouth University Poll believe that introducing a self-serve option would bring down the cost of gas. According to Risalvato, self-serve gas could save motorists up to 15 cents per gallon.
A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released in March found that 73% of New Jersey adults prefer having their gasoline pumped for them. It did not ask specifically whether residents would like to have the option to pump their own gas.