The higher cost of gas has students searching for other ways to get around. Photo by Kevin Couser

We’re not ready for liftoff! Americans stunned as gas prices skyrocket

Imagine you are leaving the office after a long day at work, and you look down at your gas gauge just for it to be straddling just above the E. You scramble to find a gas station before you’re stranded on the side of the road. You finally come across one and pull in only to realize the steepness of all the gas prices. You almost faint when you see $4.78 a gallon! Many Americans have gone through this same crisis of increasing gas prices across the nation, but many wonder why where is this increase coming from?

Over the past few weeks, Russia and Ukraine have been going to war after Russia invaded Ukraine in hopes to seize control of the country. However, the ongoing conflict has impacted more than just the two territories. The sanctions put on Russia by Joe Biden have caused inflation of gas and oil prices across America. For example, in Baltimore, Maryland, a resident can expect their gas price to be between a range of $4 to $5. In California, the price is even worse.

“Gas out here is $9 a gallon, it is getting ridiculous,” said Naisha Martinez, a resident of Los Angeles, “How does the government expect us as citizens to sustain ourselves, when most of our checks go into our gas tanks!?”

Since the spike in prices, many others have abandoned their car transportation altogether, referring to other methods such as bikes, scooters, skateboards, or roller skates.

“Ever since gas prices went up, my electric scooter is my new way to get around,” said Aliyah Wright, a college student at Shepherd University, “This is not only way cheaper, but way better for the environment!”

Aliyah is not the only one with this same mindset either. Over the timespan of a week, a survey was done in a dorm hall called Potomac Place on Shepherd University’s campus where residential students were asked if the increase in gas prices has influenced their transportation decisions.

Once they answered that, the follow-up question was in what ways did it influence their transportation decisions. 85% of residential students agreed that the gas price increase has impacted their transportation choices. When asked the follow-up question, the majority said that they either take public transportation, use bikes, or electric scooters to get around campus.

“My truck now takes $100 to fill up,” said Jemmel Williams, a resident of Baltimore, “so you best believe I will be on that bike stat.”

As the weather is getting warmer and the season is getting deeper into spring, this could also be a persuading factor for people to ditch their automobiles and dust off that bicycle that’s been in the basement for a couple of years. With the months to come, there is no telling how the war in Europe will influence American gas prices. So for now, it’s time to get pedaling!

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