As Bay Area travelers hit the road again for Thanksgiving this year, they can expect to pay much more for everything from gas to rental cars to Ubers — in some cases double the price.
The return to jam-packed freeways on Wednesday’s traditional getaway day comes a year after a holiday in the thick of the COVID pandemic, which brought open roadways and the cheapest gas prices in years. In an effort to reduce this year’s punishing fuel prices, President Biden on Tuesday ordered the release of 50 million barrels of crude oil from America’s strategic reserves in tandem with other major oil-producing nations.
But it’s unclear how much, if any, relief motorists will see at the pump for their Thanksgiving journeys. In market trading after Tuesday’s announcement, oil prices shot up roughly 2% instead of falling.
“The problem is that everybody knows that this measure is temporary,” Claudio Galimberti, senior vice president for oil markets at Rystad Energy, told the Associated Press. “So once it is stopped, then if demand continues to be above supply like it is right now, then you’re back to square one.”
The sticker shock is causing a ripple effect across the travel industry — and in Bay Area residents’ wallets.
Gas prices: California has long held the title of highest gas prices in the country due to sizable fuel taxes, and this year will be no exception. But statewide prices hit an all-time high earlier this month before dipping slightly in recent days to an average of $4.64 a gallon, over $1.50 more than last year. In the Bay Area, prices are still near $5 a gallon. The high gas prices have not deterred drivers from taking to the roads. Over 48.3 million people, only 3% less than 2019, are expected to travel by automobile this Thanksgiving, according to AAA.
OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 23: The Prices at the Mobil gas station on 40th Street and Broadway are photographed in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
“I chose not to fly because of COVID,” said Jane Richardson, who drove to Oakland from Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday she paid $4.79 a gallon to refill her Toyota Prius. “It felt worth it, I was willing to pay the extra money.”
Flying: For the hundreds of thousands of people traversing Bay Area airports, the cost of domestic air travel is up about 23%, with the average round-trip costing $300, but still down 11% from 2019, according to travel booking app, Hopper.
Ride-hailing: Getting to and from the airport will also see a significant price increase for many who are unable to take public transit or convince a friend to brave the airport traffic. According to the latest figures provided by YipitData, a research firm that tracks Uber and Lyft rides nationally, the cost of standard rides in the greater San Francisco area reached an all-time high this October, with fares 22% higher than October 2019.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- APRIL 29: Uber and Lyft decals are affixed …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News
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