Houstonians Versus Gas Prices


High prices at my local gas station

As we’ve all noticed, our gas prices were raised to all time high. In the first week of March, prices raised approximately 14%. Gas is one of those expenses where, generally, price does not matter because it’s something that has to be purchased regardless, but these recent prices have caused drivers to get less gas to avoid spending nearly $100 to fill up their tanks. Though prices have decreased slightly in the recent weeks, drivers, including my parents and family, have been doing their best to shorten or lessen their daily commutes in order to save gas.

As for those of us who don’t drive, what does it mean? Well spring break was not too long ago and many of my friends parents were changing or removing plans, as well as limiting how many times they could go out. Families who were planning to go on road trips to Oklahoma, Florida, or Louisiana, eradicated that idea and simply went to the park or to the Rodeo instead. I was unable to go to a TSU track meet because my brother did not want to spend that much money on gas for something that did not benefit him. So whether you drive or not, the price increase of gas affects us all.

Here is an example of real life impact:

On a normal week day, my mother, Karena Smith- Willis, has to drive approximately 24 miles from  home to my bus stop. Then from the stop, she drives about a mile to my little brothers’ school, to then have to drive herself 7 miles to her job. Later, she will have to drive 8 miles to Westside to pick me up, then 27 miles back home. Meaning she drives nearly 70 miles a day and uses around 2 gallons of gas. So she uses about 10 gallons, approximately half a tank, of gas per workweek, which would now cost approximately $42 to replenish at today’s prices. Which means, to fill up she noe pays $84, as opposed to the usual $60. She  hates having to run extra errands or drive anywhere extra because it will cost more. Unfortunately, this is the new norm for many. Houstonians are spending significantly more money on gas for their daily commutes.

These prices also ended up affecting delivery fees

Uber Eats’ Temporary Fuel Surcharge

for things such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates, which I use a significant amount. DoorDash’s revenue increased 83% when Covid started and people moved more towards getting food brought to them. So these food delivery services are very popular. As delivery drivers have to pay more for gas to pick up and deliver food to customers, they have also added additional fees in order to compensate for the extra money they are losing, which affects consumers. It is predictable that the same thing will  happen to Amazon and grocery deliveries as well, which would give people a hard decision to make: would they rather pay the extra gas, or pay the higher fees?