Fuel Call System Assists Disabled
Some drivers may still cringe at the sight of gas station signs, but at Break Time on Nifong, another sign is making some drivers stop for better service. Because for some disabled drivers, fueling up is harder than paying high prices.
"It would take them a lot longer to get out of the car and set everything up, pump their gas, because we get so busy we don't really notice everyone out there," said Break Time worker Corey Reese.
But at two stations in Columbia, the pain of pumping can be solved with the push of a button.
It's called Fuel Call. When a driver pulls up to the pump, pressing the assistance button rings a bell inside the station. A clerk will then come to the car and fill up the tank for the driver. The Break Time has two pumps with this feature, first installed 3 months ago.
"I had a woman the other day that was just so happy, so I mean, it's good to see that," he added.
Break Time encourages use of the service during specific hours, times of day when more clerks are on hand to help behind the counter or at the pump.
Each of the Fuel Calls costs almost $800, but with more people with disabilities living more independent and active lives, Break Time thinks it could only be a matter of time before the system becomes standard.
"I assume if it does well here, that other stores will eventually start getting it," Reese said.
Phillips 66 on Paris Road also has the Fuel Call system. Including the two in Columbia, only four stations are currently using the service.