MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Although gas prices were expected to rise in mid-March, New York motorists have instead seen the price at the pump drop slightly as the summer driving season approaches. However, if you’re filling your tank in Chappaqua, Bedford, Mount Kisco or Armonk, you might have to drive elsewhere to truly take advantage of those “lower” prices.
At $3.88 per gallon of regular gas, New Yorkers still pay the second most in the continental United States, topped only by California’s $4.04; however, the national average is down to $3.62 per gallon, 10 cents cheaper than a month ago and nearly 30 cents lower than a year ago, according to AAA’s daily fuel gauge report.
Robert Sinclair, media relations manager for AAA New York, said fuel prices spiked in mid-February, and the region has seen a steady decline in prices since.
“The price of crude oil has fallen slightly, that may have something to do with it,” he said. “The spike we’re anticipating can still come. The summer driving season is still a few months off, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Unfortunately, hamlets such as Chappaqua and Armonk have not seen much too much of a drop. According to GasBuddy.com , the cheapest place to fill up in Armonk is the Sunoco on Main Street—at $4.49 per gallon. In the Bedford, the Gulf station on Pound Ridge Road checks in at $4.39. The American station on East Main Street in Mount Kisco and Chappaqua’s Shell station on South Greeley Avenue are the two best buys at the moment, each at $4.09 per gallon (cash only).
Still, even these are somewhat below the norm.
“They're down compared to what they usually are at Armonk gas stations,” said North Castle resident Pam Peckins Eisenburg. “But, if you go down to North White Plains, they are still much less expensive than they are in Armonk, which is why I try to never buy gas there.”
Mount Kisco resident Debbie Esposito Rossi agreed, saying, “Gas is always so high in this area.”
It’s possible all New Yorkers will share that sentiment soon enough.
Sinclair said there may still be a dramatic spike around Memorial Day, which is the unofficial kickoff of the summer driving season, when oil companies raise prices as motorists prepare to spend more time in the car.
“If companies anticipate a busy Memorial Day, then we’ll probably have a busy summer,” he added. “With it, demand goes up, and oil companies never miss a chance to raise prices. That’s the next hurdle for us to look for.”
Refineries have already made the switch from a winter blend of gasoline to the more expensive, eco-friendlier summer blend. The transition happened earlier than usual, which led to the spike in mid-February, as opposed to in March.
“We usually get the jump in mid-March because the refineries need to shut down for a few days, sometimes even for a week or two. It creates short-term shortages,” Sinclair said. “It’s still pretty darn cold out, so their actions seemed premature.”
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