As the spring semester comes to an end, what does it mean for gas prices?

$3.69 per gallon was the price for unleaded gas at Byrne Dairy in Oswego, N.Y. on May 2. Photo by: Matthew Rivenburgh

OSWEGO, N.Y. —  As the spring 2024 college semester comes to a close, it leaves many consumers wondering if gas prices will go up or down.

AAA Western and Central New York Communications Specialist Valerie Puma said there are many different variables and factors that go into the price that motorists see when they arrive at a gas station.

“A lot of the time it is supply and demand but it also comes down to the price of crude oil specifically, especially if there are things going on overseas or if there are higher delivery costs or potentially a local refinery is down. So there are a lot of different factors,” said Puma.

This week the prices are more on the side of supply and demand, said Puma. 

“Right now we are looking at slightly lower supply but also slightly lower demand so that lower demand has led to a drop in pump prices. But also the crude oil this week has been steady. We are looking at a lot of factors going into our favor right now,” said Puma. 

Puma said nationally the gas price average is lower than what New York state’s average price is.

“AAA’s number for the national average is $3.66. But that’s compared to New York state’s average which is going to be much higher because of where we are regionally it is currently $3.71,” said Puma. 

When talking about the counties in New York state it depends on how rural a county is, what the demand is, and how popular gasoline is at the time, said Puma.

Puma said Central New York is in a slow down of prices increasing, but she does not think it will last long.

“May is a very busy month for travel because we are looking at people maybe going to visit their moms for Mother’s Day. And then school gets out and then there’s Memorial Day weekend,” said Puma.

Puma said although prices are steady now, over the next two weeks she thinks gas prices will increase just because of the amount of people pumping gas. The summer travel season is the time of year when gas prices are higher mainly because of the supply and demand factor.

“The summer season we use a different type of fuel so there is a summer blend of gasoline and a winter blend of gasoline and just a couple weeks ago New York state finally switched over from the less expensive winter fuel to the more expensive summer blend of fuel,” said Puma.

Puma said she believes the main difference is that the summer fuel can stand the heat of the summer better and is more expensive to make.

“So we have a lot of factors coming together that makes the summer travel season more expensive for gas prices, so not only is the fuel itself more expensive as so many people are traveling,” said Puma.

Puma said locally people are going to the gas pump more often than they were in the winter.

SUNY Oswego student and commuter Emily Bowden said since she is on campus three days a week she only has to get gas every other week.

Bowden said it was really stressful getting gas last semester because she was not working.

“That was a bit more stressful because it was from my savings so it would be the only thing I pretty much spent my money on is gas and at that time since it was every single week it would be like $100 every two weeks. This semester it is easier because I am only here three days a week,” said Bowden.

SUNY Oswego student Matt Campagna said they spend $55-60 a week on gas.

“My main source of income is doing DoorDash, which also has a lot of wear and tear on my car and also puts a lot of miles on there. So about every $100 I earn on DoorDash I probably spend $25 in gas,” said Campagna. 

Campagna said that they think the prices are high because of travel and resurgence in summer weather.

“Now that there is no snow and not a lot of weather conditions that hinder travel. But I understand supply and demand right now is getting higher for just about everywhere…I really enjoyed having $3.10 and $3.20 back in December when it was snowy,” said Campagna.

Campagna said it is really rough having to pay high gas prices.

“When it was about $3, I was able to pay for gas, usually about $40-45 dollars, now it is such a big increase,” said Campagna.

For more information on gas price in your area visit AAA’s website.