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Drivers pay big as gasoline price flirts with $4 mark
Keiko Hashimoto gases up her car at one of the five gas stations that had the cheapest gas in Manteca on Friday afternoon. Over the course of the last month, she said, the cost of gassing up her vehicle has increased more than 25 percent. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Manteca unleaded prices from $3.85 to $3.99 a gallon
Prices of unleaded per gallon at Manteca gas stations as of Friday at noon:
Chevron – Louise Avenue and Union Road: $3.95
Quik Stop – Louise Avenue and Union Road: $3.85
Chevron – Highway 99 and Lathrop Road/Frontage Road: $3.95
Valero – Lathrop Road near Union Road: $3.89
76 – Yosemite Avenue at Highway 99: $3.99
Arco – Yosemite Avenue at Highway 99: $3.89  
Beacon – Yosemite Ave. at Northwoods: $3.99
Gas Depot – Yosemite Ave.: $3.95
Chevron – Yosemite Ave. at  Spreckels Avenue: $3.99
Valero – Yosemite Avenue near Powers: $3.89   
Quicki-Kleen: $3.89  
Save-On – Yosemite Avenue at Jesse St.: $3.89   
7-Eleven – Yosemite Avenue at El Portal: $3.93  
Chevron – Yosemite Avenue at Union Road: $3.97  
Tower – Yosemite Avenue at Watson Street: $3.89  
Quik Stop – Airport Road at Yosemite Avenue: $3.97   
Costco: $3.85
Arco – Main Street at Industrial Park Drive: $3.85
Chevron – Main Street at Mission Ridge Drive: $3.99
 76 – Main Street at Wetmore Street: $3.93
Super Stop Market – Main Street: $3.85   
Quik Stop – Main Street at Alameda Street: $3.85   
Manteca Liquor & Food – Main Street at Jason Street: $3.85  
Chevron – Louise Avenue at Cottage Avenue: $3.95   
7-Eleven – Northgate Drive at Main Street: $3.89 
Ernesto Garza couldn’t help but grimace as he watched the dollar signs flash across the screen while filling up his Acura SUV Friday afternoon.

Considering that he had to put at least mid-grade gasoline into it for the engine to run properly and it doesn’t get the gas mileage that he would like to be getting right about now, Garza hung up the pump and screwed the cap on while shaking his head.

“When oil was pushing $140-a-barrel last year, we still weren’t paying this much for gas – not even during the summer,” Garza said. “Here we are in the spring and oil is just above $100-a-barrel and we’re paying $4-a-gallon for gas. It’s ridiculous. I’m not working right now, and I’m going to school in Hayward and I drive this thing which sucks down the gas. It’s rough.”

On Friday afternoon, the cheapest regular unleaded gas in Manteca – $3.85-a-gallon – could be found at a handful of local service stations including the Arco station at the corner of Main Street and Industrial Park Drive, Costco, Quik Stop and Louise Avenue and Union Road, Manteca Liquor and Food on Main Street and Super Stop Market on Main Street. The highest price was $3.99 a gallon.

Getting the cheapest gas possible was important to Keiko Hashimoto, who waited to slide into an open spot at the Arco station on South Main Street to gas up her sedan. The cost of filling her tank, she said, has risen by at least 25 percent in the last month.

“It’s just crazy how much money gas costs right now,” Hashimoto said. “It kind of makes me not want to drive as much, but really there’s nothing you can do but pay it if you want to be able to go somewhere.”

Not everybody, however, is giving in that easy.

Kyle Sanders filled up his Jeep Wrangler Friday afternoon mainly because he had planned to go off-roading in the mud with friends once they got off of work. It is something that required an appropriate dose of petrol that he said his friends would chip in for.

But when it comes to trips down to the convenience store or going over to a friend’s house just to play video games, Sanders leaves his Jeep parked in the driveway and takes either his bike or his skateboard to make sure he has gas when he really needs it.

“I have a job right now, but I don’t want all of my money going to just fill up my tank two or three days a week,” he said emphatically. “It’s actually not that bad getting some exercise when it’s not raining outside, and I figure that this helps me save some miles on my car at the same time.

“I’m not sure when the prices are going to go down again, but this little system works for me, and I don’t mind it.