SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Gas prices are soaring across America and Central New York is not immune. The cost of a gallon is up by more than a dollar from this time last year. The spike is thanks to a mixture of reasons that are all culminating to impact the CNY economy.
“It’s a terrible burden for all the people that have to make a living every day,” David Rice, a Syracuse resident, said.
Gas saw a drastic drop in early 2020 due to the country-wide shutdown. However, as COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, the demand for gas has gone up, which consequently has impacted gas prices.
“I don’t see any end in sight,” Rice said.
In addition, the New York State Senate is proposing the Climate and Community Investment Act. The main goal of the legislation is to begin the transition to renewable energy and cut down on carbon use and fossil fuels. One way of achieving that goal is to impose taxes on gas, which could raise the price of a gallon by another 55 cents.
“First of all, I think it is a very regressive tax,” Rice said. “It’s going to effect the people that can least afford that. People that are driving back and forth to work every day, trying to make ends meet, they’re not going to be able to pay the extra. That’s a huge increase.”
Plus, there is a shortage of tank truck drivers nation-wide. According to the National Tank Truck Carriers, between 20% to 25% of the tank trucks will not be used this summer due to a lack of qualified drivers. Compare that with only 10% of trucks not being used in 2019, and you can understand how that may effect prices. Without as many drivers, deliveries will be slower, which will cause costs to rise even more.
“It’s going to make it more expensive to drive,” Rice said. “It may make it less likely that I’ll go visit family and stuff like that. It’s just a lot of money.”
With those three factors all coming together at the same time, prices in New York and the entire United States are on the upswing.
All central New Yorkers are being impacted by the higher prices, but maybe none more than delivery drivers. Whether it be food delivery, like UberEats or DoorDash, or rideshare, such as Uber or Lyft, all drivers are feeling the effect of steeper gas prices.
“I come back from a long day driving and I’m expecting all of the money from the day,” Chris Queripel, a DoorDash driver, said. “But then it goes right back into gas. So, it’s kind of counterintuitive for me because I feel like I have to work even harder and longer because at the end of the day I’m still driving and I’m the one paying for the gas.”
Although all signs point to gas prices continuing to rise, drivers want the opposite because their bottom lines are being hurt.
“Hopefully they dip 10-15 cents, a little bit,” Queripel said. “So that every time I go out to drive I don’t have to worry about doing a couple more deliveries to account for gas prices.”