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Filling up fuels frustrations

With gas prices hitting an all-time high in Edmonton,
people are second guessing their daily commutes

High gas prices have hit Edmonton as this Petro-Canada sign on 109 street shows. (Natasja Pitcher)

By Natasja Pitcher

WITH GAS PRICES in Edmonton jumping to an average of $1.65 per litre around the city, Edmontonians are feeling the pressure on their commute to the downtown area. 

As COVID restrictions are being lifted, more Edmontonians can venture out and enjoy activities downtown – but the price of gas, along with parking fees, has left some questioning whether they can afford their outings.

Oilers fan Braden Bryson says he hasn’t let gas prices deter him from going to Rogers Place – but he tries to work out the best financial plan for the outing before he buys tickets.

“I go to games with multiple people. And we work out payment of parking beforehand, so the driver isn’t stuck with parking and paying for gas.”

Bryson says he mainly drives, but if prices continue to rise, he may go for another option. 

“I have considered bringing my bike out and start riding to work instead of driving – car-pooling downtown, and walking wherever I need to go.”

NAIT student Paul Boumoussa says he hasn’t paid for a parking pass since before COVID, when classes moved online. However, with campuses reopening, the gasoline-price surge has made him reconsider his commutes.

‘I try to not drive as much or venture
too far unless necessary’

“I try to not drive as much or venture too far unless necessary, as rising prices are tough for students to keep up with while in full-time school.” 

Boumoussa says the increased cost directly influences whether he travels downtown. As prices remain high, he says, car-pooling and walking are the most reasonable options.

With the gas price jumping 20 cents in just a couple of days, some people say they feel frustrated that there was no warning about the hikes.

“A warning would have been nice,” Bryson says. “I could have filled up the tank when it was cheaper, as opposed to trying to fill it now.”

Nathan Molloy, a daily commuter, says he feels frustrated and stressed about the sudden increase.

“Money was tight before the increase, and now with the extra few dollars for gas, it adds up quickly.”

For the time being, he says he will stick to driving and parking downtown, but things might change if prices keep climbing.

“If gas keeps going up, I think a lot of people will be considering other methods, although the public transit system is not very good.

“So, I’ll be sticking to driving for as long as possible.”

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