Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re hitting the road this holiday weekend, try to fill up now. Experts say gas prices are climbing.
Gigi Barnett finds out what’s behind the spike.
A little more than a week ago, gas prices across the country were on a downward slide. But in just a matter of days, tensions in the Middle East have reversed the trend.
Across the board, in all methods of travel, Marylanders are getting out of town this holiday weekend. According to AAA, nearly 700,000 Marylanders are planning a trip near or far. It’s a nearly three percent boost in travel from last year’s Labor Day getaway.
“We’re seeing that all modes of travel are up. Train is up by a little under three percent,” said Ragina Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic.
But it’s the drivers who will feel the pinch at the pump the most, as gas prices are going back up. Drivers say they have watched the uptick.
“It’s disappointing. You’re hoping that gas prices seem to be trickling down over the last several months and it’s disappointing to see it popping back up,” said driver Jeff Spatz.
“Actually, I did think about it the other day and put it out of my mind ’cause it’s a little depressing,” said driver Loy Elliott. “One tank of gas a week adds up in a hurry.”
Experts say the unrest in the Middle East–particularly Syria and talk of war there–is the cause.
AAA says it feared recent developments there would cause impact on drivers here.
“We really have to be mindful of what’s going on in Syria because, again, we’ve seen oil really trading particularly high over the last few days,” Averella said.
Even though gas prices have gone up slightly in the last couple of days, they are still not where they were last month or even last year. On Labor Day 2012, Maryland drivers paid 24 cents more per gallon.
About 87 percent of Maryland drivers say they’ll reach their holiday destinations by car this year.