Long Beach residents and students have felt the financial squeeze in the past weeks as gas prices continue to rise, with Los Angeles County averaging over $6 per gallon.
The price of gas has seen an increase nationwide in recent weeks, but California residents have seen some of the highest prices across the state. The national average for gas is $3.80 per gallon, with $6 per gallon in California as of Thursday, according to AAA.
In Los Angeles County, the average price of gas has gone above the $6 mark, staying at $6.20 as of Thursday. Some areas of Los Angeles have seen prices go up to as high as $7 a gallon.
Dottie Green, a Pittsburgh local, filled up her rental car at Arco on the corner of Bellflower and Atherton during her visit to California.
“It’s quite a shock,” said Green about the gas prices. “In Pennsylvania, it’s only about $3.69 there. Luckily, I haven’t gone too far, but I’ve got no idea of what it’s going to cost me for a few gallons of gas.”
Long Beach resident and semi-retired movie producer Ted Kennedy said that he usually spends about $100 a week on gas.
“I’m semi-retired and my office is only five blocks from me, but I used to spend almost $200 when I was working,” Kennedy said.
While residents have felt the financial burden, CSULB is known to be a commuter school with many students driving to campus. An April 2022 survey revealed that 80% of students commute by car and 34% have commutes of 16 miles or more.
Kaitlyn Nguyen commutes from Irvine to CSULB twice a week for classes and said that the rise in gas prices has become a factor in her budget.
“I do have to gas quite often and with gas prices increasing recently it has become an inconvenience,” Nguyen said. She also said she prefers to get gas in the Long Beach area.
“The gas prices in Long Beach haven’t risen as much as in Orange County,” she said. “In Orange County, the gas prices are crazy. It’s unfortunate that the economy has come to this.”
CSULB student Kaitlin Sysavath, originally from Ventura County, commutes around 30 minutes a day to campus.
“I feel like I’m more aware of how much gas it takes me to drive places, like ‘oh I need my gas to last me this long’ and I have to think about it,” Sysavath said. “Right now, I live with my aunt and usually I fill up gas once a week.”
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the high prices for gas are a result of oil production cuts in Saudi Arabia and Russia, where production has been cut by 1.3 million barrels a day since July.
On Sept. 5, Russia and Saudi Arabia extended their production cuts through the end of the year, which could mean a continuation of high prices for local and student drivers alike.