By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
Gas prices vary considerably with the problem cutting much deeper financially for some than others.
It seems like for every week that goes by commuters are feeling increasingly pinched as the average nationwide cost of gas inches up towards $4 dollars a gallon.
However, since driving habits, travel demands and gas prices vary considerably -- depending on which region of the country you're from -- it's might be more accurate to say the problem cuts much deeper financially for some than others.
But just how drastic is the cost disparity?
A study released by Mint.com reveals that residents of some major cities can end up paying more than twice as much each month as residents in another city. This eye-popping statistic and other surprising conclusions were drawn from an analysis of data reported by the site's users, which included their location and how often they visited the pump.
Topping the list as the top fuel-spending city is San Jose, California where residents fork over on average $216 dollars a month on fuel, while New Yorkers, on the other end of the spectrum, spend an average of $102 dollars a month. The wide disparity likely has a lot to do with the fact that big apple dwellers also have the option of using the subway and other popular modes of public transportation, which also might explain why they refuel on average only twice a month whereas Americans refuel about six times a month.
A more useful statistic for those who primarily drive is the total amount of money spent each time residents of a particular city visit the pump -- a better indicator of the differences in per gallon costs. So when the numbers are broken down this way, we learn that re-fueling tends to be most expensive in the Bay Area with San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland ranked as the top three, followed by New York and Brooklyn. And where is the cheapest place to refuel? The answer is Tucson, Arizona where commuters pay about $25 dollars.
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Ironically, I grew up in San Jose up until I was 21 years old before moving to New York five years ago and a major part of adjusting to living on the east coast was trading in my car for a transit pass, a transition that diminished the impact of gas prices on my life to the point where it no longer crossed my mind. Yet even today, I haven't paused to think how much money I've saved since I offed my car. Why? Perhaps just the peace of mind of not having to has made making the switch more than worth it.
Image: Mint.com (slightly modified)
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Jul 24, 2011
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Here in the UK, fuel poverty is a real issue. Currently the price of unleaded petrol is ~1.39 litre. The other week I had to pay 1.47.9 per litre (due to almost running out of fuel near a motorway service station - which are always about 5p-10p more per litre). According to XE.com/ucc1.39 converts to $2.27 per litre. 1 gallon is 4.54 litres, so that's $2.27 * 4.54 = $10.30 gallon!!!
I also live in Buffalo, NY. I spend about $42.00 a week on gas which comes out to $168.00 a month. Thanks to the HIGH Taxes in NY..........
Here in Buffalo, NY most people I know many people who spend around $62 a fill up each week. So at $248 a month, Buffalo nicely out-shines San Jose as terrible on gas prices. And this is after the price went down from over $4. I understand that this covered major cities, but the semi-major ones can be worse a lot of the time.
The grid of costs per month makes a great case for better public transportation. Given a better option, I'd park my car during the week and save it for when needed.
Chicago was on the list as teetotaler. I suspect people buy as little gas as they can because Chicago is near or at the highest price per gallon in the nation. When gas is that expensive you try not to use much.
Don't forget though what those options will cost you in RTD taxes and time. The taxes and subsidies are quite large. In the Denver area for light rail, the fares are approximately 45% of the real cost per passenger...guess who pays for that. I can burn a lot of gas and get to work in 15-20% of the time, even on surface streets vs. RTD.