Sep 16, 2019

Saving at the pump

Photo illustration by Michael Uribes

At Fresno State, where a majority of the students commute to school, finding the best bargain on fuel is often essential for maintaining a balanced budget.

Students are used to finding ways to combat escalating gas prices.

Junior Julio Gutierrez and his two friends have developed a system that helps them save money on gasoline.

“We drive from Visalia and we alternate driving,” Gutierrez said. “Gas prices are so high, so we made up a system to alternate cars.”

As of early March, lists the Chevron station located at Ashlan and Fowler avenues as the highest gas prices at $3.69 per gallon. Gas stations listed on the Web site’s top 15 list of the highest gas prices in town ranged from $3.59 to $3.69 per gallon.

Chevron and Shell stations were consistently listed as the most expensive gas prices per gallon.

Prices from the Web site are reported by users and removed after 60 hours. Charts are available for highest and lowest gas prices in regular, midgrade, premium and diesel fuel.

The Web site also provides other resources, such as a map of local gas prices and a gas price temperature map that references gas price ranges around the country at a glance.

Gutierrez said that he and his friends buy gas at a Valero station in Fresno because of its low prices. He added that alternating drivers saves him and his friends a significant amount of money.

For commuters coming from the North Valley, lists the ARCO gas station located at Golden State Boulevard and Avenue 12, north of Fresno, as having the lowest gas price in the area at $3.35 per gallon.

Seven ARCO stations were listed in the top 15 lowest gas prices in Fresno. Next on the list was Costco Wholesale, with three stations in the top 15.

Sophomore Anthony Ratekin frequently buys gas at ARCO due to its consistently low gas prices. He also tries to find different ways to conserve his gas usage.

“I drive a truck so I don’t get good gas mileage,” Ratekin said. “I try and get all my errands done and go to school all in one trip, that way I don’t have to drive as much.”

Ratekin takes classes only on Tuesday and Thursday to minimize the gas he has to use for the commute to school, which is about 10 miles for him.

“It definitely cuts down on gas, only having to drive two times a week,” Ratekin said. “Going to school only twice a week just works out better economically for me.”

Some students find ways to avoid driving altogether. Sophomore Roland Salazar lives at University Village and walks to school.

“The only time I drive is to work or the gym,” Salazar said. “I probably save five to six bucks a day [on gas] by living close to campus.”

Salazar drives a Honda Civic and said that he gets good gas mileage. He fills up his tank every two weeks at the ampm gas station located on Blackstone Avenue because of its consistently low prices.

“I rarely have to drive,” Salazar said. “It makes a big difference for me.”

Like Salazar, sophomore Alan Torres-Ginson doesn’t have to drive.

He rides his bike to school every day. Anytime he ever needs a car, he calls friends.

“I’m really saving a lot of money by not getting a car,” Torres-Ginson said. “I am saving a lot of money and I get some good exercise at the same time.”

He said that he likes not having the extra stress of buying gas and dealing with a car, but that rough weather can sometimes demoralize him from riding his bike.

“Sometimes you got to do what you got to do,” Torres-Ginson said.

Travel costs to popular spring break destinations
With gas prices at an all-time high, spring break getaways may cost students more than ever. Here are roundtrip gas prices to popular destinations, calculated with the lowest gas price for a vehicle at 20 miles per gallon.

• Pismo by car: $52.76

• Yosemite by car: $30.24

• San Francisco by car: $64.18

• San Francisco by plane: $247

• Los Angeles by car: $74.26

• Los Angeles by plane: $229

• Las Vegas by car: $133.06

• Las Vegas by plane: $113

• Tijuana by car: $118.61

• Tijuana by plane: $288

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