Just overnight, gas prices in Chico have jumped to more than $4 a gallon. And while drivers are feeling the pinch, businesses that rely on transportation are hurting even more.
"They go up. It hurts. We have to deal with it." "Unfortunately with having to run premium, don't like it at all!" And most drivers would agree. With gas prices in the north state jumping to more than $4 a gallon overnight, filling up the tank, means dipping even further in the pocket book. That's why the Arco station on the corner of 9th and Main Street strive to stay the lowest in Chico.
But it's not just drivers who are suffering from the price hike. Local transportation businesses are doing all they can to deal with the price hikes. Merit Medi-Trans in Chico say they are already feeling the effects, and being forced to make drastic changes. Owner Steve Horne says, "We have to cut services to outlining areas.. Our employees get hurt, we reduce employees hours to offset that expense.."
The company has roughly 60 vehicles, which transport patients all over the north state to doctors appointments, so on average, they need about 12,000 gallons of gas a month. And when prices go way up, Horne says without extra compensation from the state, they may have to cut back on these critical services.
"There's people that need our services and depend on our services for life sustaining dialysis. And if they don't get transportation, they're going to end up in the acute care hospitals," says Horne.
Local cab companies are seeing much of the same issues. Black and White Cab Company owners say the extra cost comes directly out of their pockets. Owners Randy and Jennifer Thayer say, "Sadly, it has affected more of the drivers. It's more out of their pockets and pay."
And for now customers won't see a price increase because of their set city rates.. as summer approaches, Thayer says, that may change. "If it gets any more closer to 4 or 5 dollars, it's something we need to look into," says Thayer.
According to AAA, the highest recorded average price of gas was $4.56 in 2008.. A record no one wants to break.