Motorists line up for free gas at Howell Mill Road station

The promotion, sponsored by Credit Union of Atlanta and Family Savings Federal Credit Union, was planned to push credit unions as an alternative to "mega banks," said Lesli Bishop, a spokeswoman for Family Savings.

Bishop said many consumers "are fed up with higher fees from the mega banks, and we're trying to tell them that they can get great banking products with great service from local credit unions."

The credit unions decided to draw attention to themselves by giving away gasoline — $20 in free gas for the first 200 customers in line at 9 a.m. at the Shell station on Howell Mill Road near I-75. The promotion was part of a larger program that Bishop said would be giving away $80,000 in gas in 20 cities nationwide.

"We probably could have done it another way," but since gas prices are so high and it's such a big thing on everybody's mind, we thought this would be a great opportunity."

Frankie Yancey of Midtown was one of those lined up for free gas Thursday morning.

"My husband does volunteer work with the Atlanta Food bank and Christ Redeemer Church, and he spends all of his gas doing volunteer work, so I'm filling up his tank," said Yancey, who got in line about 7:30. "We're retired and I would have probably just slept in."

Yancey also told her friend, Lyn Grossman of Smyrna, about the giveaway, and Grossman made the 10-mile drive to get her free gas, too.

Grossman said Thursday wasn't the first time she had waited in a long line at a free gas giveaway.

"I'm a freeaholic, that's the thing," she told the AJC. "It's the free word. That's what gets me going."

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