Rochester area motorists are paying more at the pump than they have since 2014, despite two consecutive weeks of lower prices.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline here this week was $2.97, down from $3 last week, but up from $2.38 per gallon a year ago, GasBuddy reported. Rochester drivers continue to pay more than their neighbors elsewhere; nationally the average price of gas this week was $2.89.
AAA Western and Central New York reported that gas prices this week in Buffalo were $3.01 per gallon, while Syracuse travelers are paying $2.95 per gallon. In Batavia, drivers will pay an average of $2.99 per gallon of gas this week.
“Average gas prices in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest in a month, following oil’s continued slump as OPEC appears poised to adjust oil production levels and the U.S. nears hitting 11 million barrels of oil pumped per day, the highest level ever,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “We see gas prices falling slightly into late June or early July before odds rise of hurricane season leading to some volatility at the pump, which could lead prices higher short term.”
GasBuddy in April reported that motorists nationwide will pay $4 billion more in gas taxes in 2018 than they did in 2017, $76 billion annually versus $72 billion. New York has the fifth highest gas taxes nationwide at 63.09 cents per gallon. Pennsylvania drivers pay 77.1 cents per gallon in taxes, GasBuddy reported.
AAA WCNY recently reported that consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill up compared with last summer, and gas expenses account for roughly 7 percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a 1.5 percent increase since last year.
One-quarter of Northeast region respondents to an AAA survey said they would change travel plans if gas prices hit $3 per gallon, while 39 percent said $3.50 per gallon would be the game changer. In 2014, Rochester drivers paid $3.79 per gallon of gas in mid-June.
“Motorists can expect to spend at least $250 more on gas this season, but that won’t stop them from traveling,” AAA WCNY director of public relations Elizabeth Carey said in a statement. “The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance.”
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