I may have picked the wrong time to go to Los Angeles.
October is normally a nice time to visit, as the heat has eased off and the perpetual smog and/or fire smoke has been cleared by the freshness of early Autumn. This year, though, my timing to visit Southern California could be some of the worst yet. Not because of fires or earthquakes or Academy Awards ceremonies, but because of gas prices.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a city more reliant on personal transportation than L.A., with miles of freeways all jam-packed with frustrated motorists burning fuel while slogging toward the next interchange.
Fuel that now costs, in some places, over $5 per gallon.
Some SoCal stations are beginning to run out of gas due to refinery supply problems at both Chevron and Mobil, according to USA Today. That could translate to $5 gas very soon. In fact, one station had gas for sale at $5.69 per gallon, along with signs apologizing for the high cost.
With some gas stations no longer able to purchase wholesale fuel, some tanks are simply not being re-filled. USA Today notes that a Costco in Simi Valley ran out of regular fuel and began to sell the high-octane stuff at regular prices.
Gas prices in California continue to jump wildly, which makes getting stuck on the 110 from LAX to Hollywood a seriously expensive endeavor. Which is why I’ll probably rethink my rental-car plan and rely on friendly public transportation drivers to get me where I need to go.
The national average price per gallon of regular unleaded is $3.80, according to AAA. California’s average is $4.65 and climbing. I truly wanted to rent something fun while in L.A., but at those prices, I think I will reconsider.
Have gas prices ever changed your plans for a vacation?