Gas prices are rising

Local News

Gas prices are rising.

It’s a common expense as the summer season approaches.

That also means prices of everything else could go up, as businesses pass on the cost to you, the consumer.

A gallon of regular gas at Costco Iwilei cost $2.99 on Friday. 

On Monday it cost $3.05 — a jump of six cents in just three days.

Gas prices typically rise in Spring and Summer — because of demand, because of the higher cost of refining gasoline meant for use during warmer weather — and because of world events like the Trump Administration’s sanctions against Iraqi oil announced Monday.

Dr. Carl Bonham, executive director of the U.H. Economic Research Organization, says it looks to him like we’re just getting back to normal.

Honolulu gas prices peaked last year near the end of October — at close to $3.80 a gallon for regular — and fell, along with oil prices, bottoming out in mid-January at about $3.10. 

Oil prices have gained about 20 percent since January, while gasoline prices have gained about 15 percent.

Consumers are feeling the sting at the pump and at the register as the price increase gets passed on, but not all businesses can pass on the extra expense.

Howard Higa, president of The Cab, says the company’s drivers are prohibited from raising fares to compensate for more expensive gas. 

“So when anything happens, like this, let’s say for example, the gas prices going up, what happens is, it puts all the taxi companies behind the eight-ball. Because they can’t raise their fares, so what really eventually happens is, the driver, the independent driver, or, the driver himself, has to pay for that difference.”

Taxi fares are set by the City and County of Honolulu — and Higa says the last increase awarded was about five years ago.

“And if you go by let’s say the CPI, the Consumer Price Index, if you say, 2.5 percent, let’s say, for example, five years, that’s over 10 percent that they never got. So that 10 percent of the CPI, whatever you want to call that, is being eaten by the driver. They have to cover that cost.” 

Higa predicts that the gas price increases will be spread across the board. 

Simply put, gasoline is used to deliver everything from food, to merchandise, to services — to the consumer — meaning you will wind up paying for more expensive gas in addition to your intended purchases.

We contacted ride-sharing companies and independent delivery services for comment, but we did hear back. 
 

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