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Pain at the gas pump pounds First Coast customers

6:06 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Filling up the gas tank has been a painful process the last month as there has been a dramatic spike in gas prices on the First Coast, and more increases are expected in the coming weeks.

In Jacksonville, prices have risen 17 cents a gallon in the last week, and 41 cents per gallon in the last month. That is about a 13 percent increase.

The average fill up is costing you about $6 more than it did in January.

Beaches resident Sharon Shaffer said it's ridiculous and she won't be traveling so much. 

"Every time I go to the gas station it has gone up, I just really get irritated about the whole thing."

"It's getting really hard," said Patti Burmeister. "I'm retired and it's put a real pinch in the budget."

Burmeister said she and her husband, also retired, are planning a long distance trip next month and the timing is not good.

Rob Long owns a lawn maintenance company. When he bought his red truck in 1997, diesel fuel was $1.15 a gallon. Now, it's $4.15.

"It is hard to live with. Nothing you can do, you gotta keep on, either that or sit home with no money. It's frustrating for sure."

With spring break ahead and more traveling expected, things are not expected to get any better.

"AAA believes gas prices most likely will continue to rise probably through late March or early April," said AAA spokesperson Michael Green.

Energy analysts are predicting a 10 to 15 cent a gallon increase by the end of April.

Green said the best thing a motorist can do is shop around.

"It keeps gas stations competitive because when they know they are losing customers when their prices are too high, they will keep them the lowest in an area as possible."

First Coast News

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