If you’re able to take public transportation to work, you may want to consider a switch in your commute…
LI Gas Prices Are On The Rise!
Gas prices on Long Island and across the country are higher than they have been in four years. Most consumers are seeing prices at the pump well over $3 per gallon, and one gas station in Manhattan even hit $5 per gallon! On Memorial Day weekend, motorists saw gas prices increase by 31 percent compared to just last year, with no end to the recent spike in sight.
Why Are LI Gas Prices So High
Gas prices on Long Island have substantially risen since January, but gas stations typically don’t raise their prices on a whim. There are several variables both nationally and globally that can contribute to an increase in gasoline prices, as well as determine how long drivers have to suffer before seeing prices return to more affordable levels.
Americans Are Driving More
At this point in our economy, things are not looking too bad. People are buying more vehicles and taking the opportunity to travel via cars more often. Not only that, but commuters are opting out of using public transportation and leaning more towards ride sharing options and personal vehicles to get to work. However, the more drivers that are on the roads, the higher the demand is for gasoline. When demand increases, so does the price of the goods, and the current price for crude oil is skyrocketing around the world.
Summer Gas Is Different Than Winter
Not all gasoline is composed of the same materials all year round. Summer blends of gasoline must be able to evaporate slowly in high temperatures, while winter gasoline is manufactured to evaporate more quickly at low temperatures to keep vehicles running in the cold. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), summer gas blends contain about 1.7 percent more energy than winter blends. The positive is better gas mileage, but the negative is that gas stations hike up the price to cover their increased cost.
Taking Advantage of Holiday Travelers
A less scientific reason for why gas prices tend to rise, especially around summer holiday weekends, is the simple fact that there are more travelers on the road. Gas stations prey on holiday travelers because they know the high cost of gas will not deter them from filling up their SUV’s and RV’s with thousands of gallons of overpriced gasoline. This past holiday weekend, nearly 34 million Americans hit the road for Memorial Day trips and 70 million set off on the water to participate in recreational boating- that’s a lot of visits to the gas pump to fill up on overpriced fuel.
In 2017, the United States imported nearly 10.1 million barrels of petroleum per day according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. These barrels come from about 84 different countries, and some countries are more prone than others to both internal and external conflicts that can affect the importation of goods. Political instability, natural disasters, and war all have a major effect on the availability of crude oil, particularly when it comes to countries located in the Middle East.
Reducing Your Cost At The Pump
You may have zero control over global politics or the national holiday schedule, but there are a few steps you can take to lower your fuel costs during the current gas spike:
- Shop around: Don’t settle for the closest gas station to your work or home, do your research. Use these helpful apps to find out who is offering the best gas prices in your surrounding area and be aware of cross-state differences in cost.
- Slow down: Aggressive drivers and motorists in a hurry guzzle up more gas than any other consumers. The faster you drive, the more fuel you have to buy, so try not to use a heavy foot on the gas.
- Carpool: If you can carpool to work, school, or any function with friends or family, do it! Reducing the amount of time you drive and splitting the gas prices between multiple parties is far more cost-effective than taking separate vehicles.
- Public transportation: We know public transportation is not always the most appealing or reliable, but planning ahead can help you make the best out of your trip and get the most for your dollar.
- Empty your car: If you store a lot of things in your car, you could be wasting gas and not even realizing it. Heavier cars use more fuel, so only keeping necessary and emergency items in your vehicle will help cut your fuel costs.
- Walk and bike: With the weather taking a warm turn, walking and biking can be an excellent option to run errands or get to places within close proximity.
Don’t Go Broke…Travel Smart
The rise in gas prices is disappointing to most Long Island residents, especially those who travel often or have no other way but to commute to work then by car but don’t let the price of gas ruin your summer. Be conscientious about using fuel and get creative about your daily and weekend transportation. You don’t have to go broke driving on Long Island this summer if you learn to travel smart.