Gas prices continue to rise in Texas, Austinites feeling the impact

On Tuesday, President Biden announced a ban on all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy to the United States, a move that is expected to further increase gas prices.

"We’ve already been seeing prices on the rise as we see demand increase for fuel as a lot of COVID-19 restrictions have been easing," said Joshua Zuber, spokesperson for AAA Texas. "And then most recently the big spike we’ve seen is because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict."

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $4.17 on Tuesday. The state average was at $3.85 a gallon and Travis County’s average was at $3.83.

"We are getting close to that record territory, $3.98, that was set back in July 2008," said Zuber.

As far as states go, California is the most expensive state right now with an average of $5.44 per gallon. Texas is the 12th cheapest.

"I feel like it’s a good thing for the Permian Basin, just because we’re going to rely on the oil from there instead of outsourcing from other countries," said an Austin resident FOX 7 spoke to at the gas station, originally from West Texas.

For those trying to save money, AAA Texas offers some tips. Keep in mind, properly filled tires are not only more safe, but more fuel efficient. Driving at higher speeds will use more gas. And don’t pay for premium if your car takes regular.

Some industries are able to dodge the brunt of the impact for now. 

A spokesperson for AISD told FOX 7 that the district is part of the TASB Energy Cooperative which offers better rates on fuel than the market rate. Their latest diesel invoice to fill up a school bus was for $3.04 per gallon.

For others, like Austin Lyft driver Mark Silva, there’s been a direct impact.

"Normally it takes me about $25 to fill up," said Silva. On Tuesday, it cost him $42.

"I guess $42 is not that big of a deal, but to me it is," he said.

An online petition asking Uber and Lyft to raise customer rates is getting new attention in recent months and thousands of new signatures. 

Spokespersons for Uber, Lyft and DoorDash provided information to FOX 7 on Tuesday regarding any measures being taken to offset the increasing gas costs for drivers. While none of the companies are changing prices as of now, they are offering cashback opportunities for drivers.

Company statements are below:

DoorDash statement:

"We are proud to provide Dashers with access to discounts on gas and other car maintenance to help them maximize their earnings, including 2% cashback on gas at any station for DasherDirect cardholders, and making additional car maintenance discounts available for all Dashers. We’re always eager to hear from Dashers on ways we can support them and provide meaningful resources on and off the road."

More information can be found here.

Lyft statement:

"We care deeply about the driver experience and we’ve taken concrete steps to help given rising gas prices. Our investments in programs like our GetUpside partnership and the Lyft Direct cash back debit card are designed to directly save drivers money at the pump. We’ll continue to explore other ways to help the driver community."

More information can be found here.

Uber statement: 

"We know higher prices at the pump can be a challenge, which is why we recently launched a new feature that helps drivers save up to 25¢ per gallon through cash back with GetUpSide. Our platform only works if it works for drivers, so we’ll continue to monitor gas prices and listen to drivers over the coming weeks."

More information can be found here.

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