Local companies adapt to rising gas prices

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Across the commonwealth and the nation, people are paying more at the pump.

Rising gas prices affect some people more than others, and companies that rely on hitting the road are feeling the change.

For a gallon of gas in the Valley, AAA reports that Harrisonburg is averaging just over $3/gallon, which is up about $0.10 from last month. In the Augusta County region, the average is $3.12, which is $0.14 higher than last month. In the northern areas, Winchester is reporting about the same as Augusta.

“For the average driver, I think this is where they start to notice it. Probably doing a good bit of shopping around, and that’s a great thing to do,” said Morgan Dean, AAA spokesperson.

For most people, a rise in gas prices mean they adjust their budget, but for shipping companies, farmers and delivery drivers, higher prices can hurt their bottom line.

“Obviously fuel for your tractor or your truck is a major expense for farmers, but there’s other products and fertilizer is one of the main products that are actually made from other petroleum products,” said President of Augusta County Farm Bureau Bradley Dunsmore.

Dunsmore says some farmers will probably be making hard financial decisions next year.

“There will be a lot of farmers that are shocked when they go to price fertilizer when they start looking. They’re not going to be shocked at what the fuel price is. They see that every day at the gas station,” Dunsmore said.

For public transportation services, bills are also looking different.

“I just got the fuel bill recently,” said Devon Thompson, transit planner with the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.

Thompson says the shift in prices has forced them to make adjustments.

“BRITE buses that are around Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro usually take about 8,000 gallons a month approximately, and the Afton Express takes about 1,500, so you budget for fluctuations in gas prices when you do your budget, but no one’s got a crystal ball,” Thompson said.

She says changes at the pump won’t equate to changes in operations, and BRITE and Afton Express fares will stay the same.

“We just do what we have to do, but for others in the area, BRITE is always cheaper than filling up your gas tank and driving alone,” Thompson said.

She says they often see more riders when gas prices go up.

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