Gas prices in the Ozarks spike above $4 per gallon

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:32 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2022 at 12:26 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Gas prices in the Ozarks rose above $4 a gallon for unleaded this week.

Many stations in Springfield rose 30 cents in the last two days from last week’s average of $3.99. The national average for a gallon of gas jumped by five cents to $4.67 a gallon. According to AAA, drivers in Missouri pay an average of $4.24 a gallon. In Arkansas, the average price rose to $4.19.

Nick Chabarria, the spokesperson for AAA, said the price increase is due to the European Union placing a ban on Russian exports of oil due to the war in Ukraine. Chabarria said even with high prices, AAA forecasted an increase in drivers for the Memorial Day weekend.

“Defensive driving habits can also help you save gas,” said Chabarria. “We’re talking about is what we call jackrabbiting, which is speeding up to try to pass traffic or beat stoplights. We know at the end of the day, it really doesn’t save you that much time over the course of a trip.”

One analyst says he expects the national average to hit $4.75 in ten days. Chabarria said to prepare for prices to keep going up and fluctuate in the future.

Rideshare driver Antoine Jackson said the gas is costly for business.

“Got a half a tank for $50,” said Jackson. “That hurt because I just made about $60 to $70. So it was like, man, should I even be doing it anymore?”

Jackson, for his job, going to the pump is a necessity.

“If I’m spending more than gas on what’s coming in, I’m switching to something else,” said Jackson.

Jackson said he is a jack of all trades driver, going from Uber to Lyft to Instacart to find the biggest payout.

“I got a smorgasbord full of them,” said Jackson. “But it’s whatever one is paying the most at that time is the one that I’m targeting.”

Chabarria said despite high gas prices, many are traveling.

“Gasoline demand is still relatively up,” said Chabarria. “At least to start the summer. We know that people still want to get out there and travel.”

Luckily, Jackson said ridesharing is just a side job.

“Basically a side hustle,” said Jackson. “But here recently, it’s turned into contributing bills and stuff.”

Jackson said he has been a rideshare driver for over a year and the gas prices aren’t the only thing hurting him.

“The wear and tear on your vehicle, the taxes, it’s almost like it’s not even worth it in the long run,” said Jackson.

However, Jackson said he enjoys the drives because it takes him away from his normal 9 to 5.

“Sitting there staring at four walls all day is annoying, so whenever I go out and drive the college kids around or just anybody that’s been out, they are my entertainment,” said Jackson.

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