Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ask Dr. Delay: Full-service gas stations nearly extinct

Nearly two years ago, the Doc reported on the lamentable loss of full-service gas stations in the area. Unfortunately, that number has dwindled further; it looks like we are down to two full-service gas stations in St. Petersburg: Bob Lee's Tire Co. at 1631 Fourth St. N and Dave & Michelle's Amoco-BP at 7424 Fourth St. N

Some service stations have stopped selling gasoline altogether, like Ahern's Chevron on Gulfport Boulevard in South Pasadena, although it still services vehicles.

Just to be sure we're all on the same page here, a full-service gas station is not one that provides on-demand fuel assistance in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires that assistance be available to individuals with handicaps at no charge.

And, like the last time the Doc did a survey of gas stations around the county, most employees described their stores as "full service." But when I asked whether they checked tire pressure and fluid levels, they allowed that no, they help with gas pumping only. One guy actually seemed affronted and barked: "This ain't New Jersey, you know!" before hanging up on me.

A full-service station means there's someone at the ready to pump fuel and maybe even smile and ask how you're doing. As my colleague Andrew Meacham reported last week in his coverage of the unexpected death of "Big John" Gray, who pumped gas for customers for 12 years at Bob Lee's, going to get gas there "is almost like going to the barber. Attendants will fill the tank for you, check fluids, wipe the windshield and put air in your tires."

And relationships sometimes develop between attendants and customers. That's certainly the case at Dave & Michelle's, where Bret Roberts says he has gotten to know a lot of his customers quite well.

"You'd be surprised by the number of people who really don't know how to use the pumps or aren't sure how to use their credit cards. We see people of all ages who need help, and I like being able to look out for them," said Roberts, 25.

If we missed any full-service gas stations, let us know.

Shuttle to ball games extended to July 21

The free baseball shuttle, which provides rides from downtown St. Petersburg to Tropicana Field, has been scheduled to operate for each Tampa Bay Rays home game through July 21.

The shuttles, which complete loops every 10 minutes or so, start running 90 minutes before the game and run until one hour after the game or one hour after a postgame concert.

The stop is at Second Street between Central Avenue and First Avenue S (under the pedestrian bridge connecting the Bank of America Tower and South Core garage). Motorists may park in the South Core garage by entering from First Avenue S between First and Second streets. Visit for information.

Until next week, happy and safe motoring.

E-mail Dr. Delay at to share your traffic concerns, comments and questions. Questions selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity.

Ask Dr. Delay: Full-service gas stations nearly extinct 06/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, June 25, 2011 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  2. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks


    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  4. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Why did Debbie Wasserman Schultz keep paying tech expert suspected of stealing House computers?


    The following is from the Miami Herald: