The Rise Of Gas Prices In The Bay Area


Alice Han and Anushka Singh

Recently, the gas prices in the Bay Area have been spiking at a rapid rate. In the past, when Covid had not spread to the Bay Area yet, the gas prices were only $1.87. Now the prices have risen to over $6 and are still growing.


As of March, Napa, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo counties are all at the state average of $5.92. Alameda and Contra Costa counties are in the upper $5.80 range, while some areas such as Solano County still have an average price of $5.79. The average price of gas in California is around $5.92 a gallon, which is six cents more than it was a week ago and $1 more than it cost a month ago. Though recently in April, the gas prices in Foster City have been in the $6 range, while the rest of the country is lower.   


There were predictions made in the U.S that if the cost went above $5, people would stop driving, and in the Bay Area people are starting to take Ubers and buses. For example, BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit, reports a 30% increase in passengers. Also, bus drivers are being affected by this increase because of the long distances that they have to drive. Therefore, they have to spend a lot more money on gas than most people.  


Right now, California has the highest gas prices because of higher taxes for environmental regulations and infrastructure. You may be wondering why the gas prices are increasing so quickly. Well, one of the reasons is because of the pandemic. When people started quarantining, the demand for gas plummeted. As of April 2020, gas prices were $1.94 due to the lack of driving. When things started opening up, the prices went up by 45% to $2.82. Afterward, gas prices kept on rising and it is still increasing at a rapid rate. Another reason is that refineries turn crude oil into gasoline and ship it to California to be sold. California then requires a special cleaner fuel blend that’s used only in California, and this process takes more work and money. 


With all of this talk about gas prices rising, the biggest question is when will they start going down. For the next few months, the prices in California will stay inflated. People have predicted that they will start going down late this year or early next year. Since the prices in California are already over $6, people may stay away from driving, but with that, prices may start going down. Oil is also a deciding factor for gas. If oil prices stay below $100, gas prices would decrease in California (they could go below $4), but this is still all uncertain. 


We can all agree that the recent gas prices are affecting our economy, but we can only help the situation so much. That’s why if everyone converts to an electric car, it would help the environment, eliminate the need to go to a gas station to refill your tank, and we won’t need to spend tons of money on gas. 


Overall, California’s gas prices are spiking at a rapid rate, and we are all hoping that they will start going down. But at the moment, there’s still a lot of uncertainty.,effect%20on%20the%20broader%20economy