Gas prices rise in time for holiday travel

Gas prices rise in time for holiday travel

Gas prices in Rochester and across the state have risen, just in time for the July 4 holiday and expected record-breaking travel, reports.

Rochester drivers will pay an average of $2.83 per gallon at the pump this week, up nearly 6 cents from last week, but down nearly 11 cents from prices a year ago. Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas this week is $2.71, up about 5 cents from last week, but down nearly 14 cents from a year ago.

The increased price is the first since early May.

“For the first time in nearly two months, the nation’s average price of gasoline has seen a weekly increase. Of course, most motorists suspected prices would rise ahead of July 4, but it’s not the holiday that should be pointed at,” GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick DeHaan said in a statement Monday. “Motorists can blame escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran for higher oil prices, declining inventories and even a potential U.S./China trade deal.”

AAA Western and Central New York reported that a record 48.9 million Americans are expected to travel this Independence Day, with 41.4 million of those using the roads. That is the most on record for the holiday and 4.3 percent more than last year.

“As Independence Day approaches, it’s time for the much-loved family road trip and this year will be one for the record books, with more Americans than ever planning vacations,” AAA Western and Central New York Vice President of Travel Carol DiOrio said in a statement. “This holiday builds on the strong travel demand seen for Memorial Day, and with schools now out of session across the country, families coast to coast are eager to travel.”

In New York State, some 3.5 million people will be traveling during this week’s holiday, a nearly 4 percent increase from last year. A record 2.93 million will travel by car and more than 308,000 by air.

“Gas prices in New York State are, on average, 17 cents cheaper than Memorial Day weekend, which is welcome news for motorists hitting the road to celebrate the July Fourth holiday,” said AAA WCNY Director of Public Relations Elizabeth Carey. “More so, summer gas prices are poised to continue dropping even lower in coming weeks.”

Other travel costs are trending higher, AAA officials noted. Airfares on average are 10 percent more expensive compared with last Independence Day, while average car rental rates are 5 percent higher than last year. Midrange accommodations are expected to cost travelers between $153 for AAA Two Diamond and $189 for AAA Three Diamond Rated hotels.

AAA is expecting to rescue nearly 15,000 motorists roadside across New York during this week’s holiday, due primarily to dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts.

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