Business, Central New York, Community, Consumer, Transportation

CNY Gas Prices Could Top $3 This Spring

Gas prices in Central New York could hit 3 dollars per gallon--the highest they've been since Spring 2015, but that doesn't mean you have to spend more than your current budget. (c) 2018 Anjani Iman

Video Transcript: Gas Prices 5 March 18

By Anjani Iman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Gas prices in Central New York could rise above $3 per gallon this Spring, according to AAA. The projected $0.40 rise will be the highest rates seen since Spring 2015.

Todd Ingraham, Fleet Operations Manager at AAA Syracuse, says the demand for crude oil during the Spring and Summer makes gas prices more expensive. Though hard to pinpoint just one cause for the price hike, the combination of more drivers and higher prices to manufacture crude oil during warmer months is part of it.

Frequent rises in gas prices have become the norm for Central New Yorkers, Ingraham said. “I think the motoring public has sort of gotten used to it or adapted to it because it is a volatile market and we have seen the prices go up and down.”

Though drivers may not notice among the steadily rising rates, average gas prices in Syracuse have been significantly above the national average since December of 2017, according to GasBuddy.com.

(c) 2018 Gas Buddy

Frequent drivers like Joe Talarico have already changed spending and driving habits in his family due to increasing gas prices.

“When you have a family of five, a wife, three kids and you have all the different expenses, I think that you look for ways to cut costs. You know, travelling less, taking less vacations and doing things to cut down on your travel time,” Talarico said.

Talarico drove to the Citgo gas station in Eastwood after passing a Mobil station that was about 20 cents more expensive.

The search for a better deal may become more common, with 40% of drivers stating they would definitely change the way they drive and spend once gas prices hit their tipping point of $3 per gallon, according to a AAA survey.

Randy Posner, a student at Syracuse University, fills his gas at one of the most expensive gas stations in Syracuse on the corner of Erie Boulevard and Walnut. He paid $2.79 per gallon at Valero because it was closest to his apartment.

Posner said he does not like to drive too far from campus, especially when running quick errands throughout the day; but with the increase of gas to $3, he might switch to a cheaper station.

“I’ll probably drive a little farther down Erie to get cheaper gas, but I guess we’ll have to see,” Posner said.

Other ways to offset higher gas prices in the car include carpooling, running errands all at once, taking off weight inside the car and driving more slowly, Ingraham said. For every five MPH over 50 MPH you drive, you might pay an extra $0.18 per gallon.

With gasoline an undeniable commodity, drivers in Central New York will most likely have to make compromises in their budgets and habits.