Cassandra Morely normally worries about the price that she pays at the pump this time of year.
For one, she’s on summer break from college and routinely travels to Southern California to meet up with friends from different schools. She also drives an SUV – which fits more people on long road trips – but traditionally chokes her at the pump.
And she’s gearing up to pay that price this week.
With gas prices spiking in Los Angeles – some stations are charging as much as $5-a-gallon – Morely said that her hope of not having to pay through the nose during the summer driving season will change when she heads to Long Beach for the weekend.
“Normally we’re paying a lot for gas here at home during the summer, but it really hasn’t been that bad,” Morely said. “I just checked online and saw that things aren’t quite like that in Southern California, and that just happens to be the place that I’m traveling to this weekend.
“But you have no choice – no gas means no trip.”
The cheapest gas in Manteca, currently, sits at $3.07-a-gallon for regular unleaded – down from California’s statewide average of $3.42-a-gallon – at the Sinclair Gas Station on E. Yosemite Avenue, Quiki Kleen on E. Yosemite Avenue and the Circle K on N. Main Street. The average price at Chevron is $3.53 in town, and Valero, according to Gasbuddy.com, is the highest at $3.63.
Consumer groups that monitor gas prices noted they are dropping nationally except in California. Experts anticipate gas to break the $4 barrier before summer’s end in California.
Chase Monson said that he downgraded vehicles several years ago to help accommodate the rising cost of fuel – trading in his pickup truck for a commuter-friendly and economical Honda Civic – and has been surprised that the cost of fuel has been so cheap throughout the typically-expensive summer season.
“I don’t remember what I paid last year, but I commute to the Bay Area and things were pretty crazy there for a while,” Monson said. “A couple of guys and I carpooled for a bit but I traded in my truck and now it’s not quite so bad.
“My family and I are planning an RV trip later this summer and that thing just eats gas so hopefully things stay where they are and it won’t hit me in the wallet quite so hard.”