BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The price for a gallon of gas in Alabama has been on the rise for over two weeks. According to GasBuddy.com, we’ve seen a steady increase of more than 25 cents – statewide – since Oct. 4.
For many customers at the Chevron station on Highland Ave., high gas prices are impacting their businesses because they rely on their cars for work.
“Where it was typically was $25 to fill up my tank, it’s almost $40,” Uber and Lyft driver Matt Stone said.
He’s feeling the impact on his Uber and Lyft business, a part time gig, but the money adds up.
“Some nights you drive and you don’t cover your gas so that could be an issue,” Stone said.
The prices are also taking a hit on restaurant owners. Tasos Touloupis from Ted’s Restaurant said he filled the catering van for the first time in a month and the price was almost double.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I sent it to my wife and said, okay, you ready? We’re raising prices,” Touloupis said. “You can’t do business like that, but it is what it is.”
Prices range from $3.19 to $3.29 at the stations we visited Wednesday night, experts said with no end in sight.
“Gas prices are increasing because crude oil prices are increasing,” University of Alabama Economist Kathy Deck said.
Deck said the impact is being felt at a global level as crude oil has gone up from $60 in August to $80 right now.
“There really is no sense that the global pressure on crude oil prices is going to ease any time soon, so I think it could get even higher than this, which is not great news for consumers,” Deck said.
For customers like Ollie Oree who need supreme to fill up the tank, he said he is willing to do what they need to keep going.
“It’s bad, but it could be a lot worse,” Oree said. “You just gotta roll with it you know?”
Deck said with higher gas prices, we feel them more because we see the big numbers when we drive by stations each day. She said unless something dramatic happens at a global level, we will keep seeing these higher prices at the pump.
“I hope to God it’s a cycle because everything in our economy, in our country, goes in circles,” Touloupis said. “Hopefully this is going to get a little bit worse, and then it will get a little bit better.”