Rochester, N.Y.— By now, we’re all used to feeling a bit of pain at the gas pump. Gas prices simply are not what they used to be.
But in recent weeks, gas prices nationwide have been on the decline. Now, more people have the means to travel this July 4th holiday.
According to AAA, Rochester gas prices have dropped 55 cents from its peak in April at $4.09 to $3.54 in July. On July 4th last year, gas prices in Rochester averaged out to $3.79.
AAA is attributing the lower gas costs as one of the main reasons more than 42 million Americans are choosing to hit the road or take to the skies this July 4th. With the holiday also falling in the middle of the week, on a Wednesday, this has convinced people to take the whole week off for a longer holiday.
“I think [people] can get more for their money right now,” says Brenda Cahill, the travel manager at AAA in Pittsford. “They are planning on how they can economize with the accommodations with the gas prices and get a better vacation than they thought of before.”
Cahill says most of the travelers, around 85 percent, are opting to drive.
Pittsford resident Mark Foggetti isn’t planning to travel this Independence Day, but appreciates the drop in gas prices and plans on traveling this summer.
“A few months ago it was over $100 to fill up the tank and now we're down to $80 so it's an advantage for us,” says Foggetti. “We're certainly going to be doing more traveling and more vacationing because of the price of gas being lower.”
When gas prices were at its peak this year, many experts predicted prices would reach close to $5 a gallon nationwide.
According to Mark Zupan, the Dean of the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, there were many events on the international stage to change the outcome.
“It comes down to supply and demand,” he says. “The Chinese economy is slowing. It's been putting upward pressure earlier this year on oil prices. Also, Europe has been in turmoil.”
Zupan also says that the U.S. has also ramped up oil production by 600,000 barrels a day, which has also helped drive down costs.
Last year 40 million Americans decided to travel for July 4th while 42 million will travel this year. According to AAA, that’s a five percent increase in the number of travelers.