Gas prices down nationally, but what about the Utica area?

Real-time technology company GasBuddy says gas prices dropped nationally almost 24 cents per gallon over the last year.

Posted: Jan 3, 2019 5:50 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2019 8:57 AM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The price of gas may be lower nationwide, but we always seem to pay a little more in the Utica area, and there’s a number of reasons why. 

"I’m kind of curious why it’s more in Utica than it is in out like towards Oneida and stuff. That kind of makes me wonder what’s going on there, but I’m certainly glad it’s going down," said Roger Lindsay, a Barneveld resident.

Most people in the area notice when the price of gas drops, but why aren’t we seeing the same kind of savings other areas get? CNY Cab & Car Service driver Ralph Burgdoff knows.

"They say it’s closer to the refineries," he said.

AAA’s General Manager Ed Welsh explains how the Utica area is more or less -- left out.

"So Pennsylvania stuff kind of stops in Binghamton. The stuff from downstate stops at Albany, and the stuff from the west kind of stops in Syracuse. So you’re kind of stuck in the middle here without a lot of big supply lines."

Another reason we’re forced to spend a little more for gas.

"Utica, you’re kind of in a captive market. Where are we going?"

You may be going a little bit farther than you think. If you look at average gas prices county-wide, Utica actually falls in the lowest price bracket for some of the surrounding areas. Otsego County comes in with the highest average price for gas at $2.69 a gallon. There is one more factor that drives the price up for the Utica area.

"You don’t have the huge competition driving the price down like we do in other markets," Welsh said.

Gas prices are expected to remain where they are for the short term, and will likely go up 15-20 cents toward the summer. If you are shopping around for the best prices on gas, you typically don’t save any money if you travel more than 10 miles to get it. If you really want to keep an eye on your money, you can download the AAA app on your phone to find the cheapest gas prices in the local area.

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