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High gas prices prompt some Fairfax County residents to adjust habits

A Sunoco gas station in McNair had unleaded gas surpass $4.41 per gallon on Sunday, March 13 (staff photo by David Taube)

Gas pump prices nationwide have been hitting record highs, with the average cost per gallon at $4.38 in Fairfax County today (Tuesday).

While there has been a slight dip since prices peaked on Friday (March 11), AAA reports that consumers “can expect the current trend at the pump to continue as long as crude prices climb.”

AAA attributes the soaring prices to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February and President Joe Biden’s subsequent ban on Russian energy imports, leading to decreased supplies to meet rising demand for fuel.

The war and sanction have added pressure to a market already challenged by global supply chain issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With drivers facing added expenses, Bruce Wright, president of the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, says he has noticed more people riding.

“I think it’s a continuation of the increase in ridership that occurred during the pandemic,” he wrote in an email.

He noted that Bike to Work Day is May 20. The annual event encourages people to avoid driving and cycle for short trips, not just commuting.

“I have seen a sharp increase in the number of people using e-bikes, which I think are transformative,” Wright wrote. “They allow people to travel further with less effort, extending those short trips to much longer trips by bike. Cargo e-bikes are also getting more popular and I think that popularity will continue to grow.”

For entrepreneur Abraham Ali, the gas prices have deterred him from his usual routine as well as habits at the pump. He ventured out for the first time this week since the gas prices shot up.

He makes deliveries to places such as Ashburn and Centreville for his fashion business, Frontline Variety Shop, because that’s cheaper than mailing them. Now, he questions if that’s still the case.

“It’s definitely affecting us,” he said outside a Sunoco gas station in McNair yesterday (Monday). “I don’t even want to drive at all.”

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