Castleton State College commuters are beginning to feel the heavy weight of the large numbers on gas prices. With prices averaging $3.84 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel, students are frustrated and upset.”I think the gas prices suck. I drive a 1998 Nissan pathfinder. It costs 75 bucks to fill the tank and when you only make $8 an hour, it doesn’t really help,” said Sterling Nelson, a Castleton senior and commuter.
Nelson is one of the many commuters who travel more than five miles to get to the college daily. Commuters are adjusting to the elevated prices in various ways– one of which is by purchasing new vehicles.
“I have a 2011 Nissan Frontier that gets 15 miles to the gallon. I bought Honda civic to save gas, but my girlfriend always uses it so I get stuck with the gas hog,” said Dan Gardner, a Castleton commuter who stays in West Rutland.
Bu why is gas so expensive? Researchers from Harvard say in the simplest form, that there is a small supply of the fuel and a large demand for it. Therefore, gas stations and oil companies can raise the prices to adjust to the demand. Others argue it’s the market speculators who drive up the price, which the government is currently investigating.
Some students deal with inflating gas prices by changing their lifestyle in certain ways. Zach Wiessner, a commuter, has an internship in Glens Falls about an hour away. Traveling there five days a week can really put a toll on the wallet, he said.
“I stopped going to Rutland for groceries and just go to Shaws in Fair Haven and I also carpool to my internship to save money,” said Wiessner.
Kelly Conway uses her boyfriend as a means to save cash on gas.
“I Live in Rutland, but my boyfriend stays in Castleton, so I basically just live with him throughout the semesters,” said Conway.
Some students can’t wait for the semester to come to an end so they can escape the high prices in this area. In senior commuter Matt Bijas’s case, home is where the semi-affordable gas is and where the wallets remain partially full.
“I’m happy that it’s summer soon so I can go back to Jersey where they have the lowest gas in the U.S., plus I don’t have to pump my own gas,” said Bijas.