Gas prices Syracuse NY

Quickly rising gas prices spook Central New York motorists
November 16, 2020 – 04:38 pm

2011-03-04-gw-gasprice.JPGView full sizeGary Walts / The Post-StandardKen Leroy, of North Syracuse, takes a receipt for his gas purchase from a pump at Liberty Gas, 200 S. Main St., North Syracuse. The daily surges in gas prices are shocking to motorists, with prices jumping as much as 5 cents in one day.

North Syracuse, NY - The woman from Oswego illustrates how people are rattled by gas prices these days. She searched the Internet for the lowest-priced gas in Central New York and drove to Liberty Gas & Convenience store, in North Syracuse.

“She said, ‘Boy, you’re the cheapest gas from here to Oswego!’ ” said Kevin Meaker, a clerk at the store. “She said, ‘I had to drive all the way from Oswego.’ There was no smile on her face. I think she meant it. Kind of strange.”

The woman, in her 20s, apparently didn’t do the math. She would’ve realized it cost her $6 to $8 in gas to drive 40 miles round-trip so she could save less than $1 on the gasoline.

That’s the way life has been lately at Liberty, which is typically near the top of the cheapest gas stations among’s survey of 159 outlets in Central New York. The store is at 200 S. Main St., about a mile north of the one gas station that’s usually lower-priced, Delta Sonic. Friday, Liberty’s regular gas cost $3.49 a gallon, and Delta Sonic’s was $3.45.

According to, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded gas rose last week by 14 cents, or 4.2 percent, from $3.33 to $3.47. That was the highest price ever for this time of year, when prices are usually low, according to The Associated Press. Upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa prompted fears that oil supplies would be disrupted. Oil prices topped $100 a barrel for the second time in history.

At, the daily traffic of visitors has tripled in the past two weeks as consumers hunt for the best deal, said Patrick DeHaan, the site’s senior petroleum analyst.

Gary Walts / The Post-Standard

The daily surges are shocking to motorists – with prices sometimes jumping as much as 5 cents in one day. Even more stunning is this: Two years ago, on Jan. 4, 2009, the average price in Central New York was $1.74 per gallon. That means it costs about $18.50 more to fill up a 10-gallon tank today than it did two years ago.

“It’s ridiculous, ” said Kim DeStefano, 44, of Camillus. “I don’t know how people do it.” She has a friend who’s a single mother and has had to cut back on her groceries so she can afford to fill up her SUV to get to work.

DeStefano was buying gas Friday at Liberty after seeing its lower price Thursday night when she was in the area. She said she’s started driving differently in recent weeks. Instead of taking the interstate, she takes the back roads, where the speeds are 35 mph instead of 65, she said.

“We don’t go no place no more, ” said Delbert Hoyt, 76, of Parish, as he filled his tank at Liberty. He and his wife are retired and live on a fixed income, he said.

Gail Tone, 60, of Syracuse, filled her PT Cruiser Friday afternoon and wondered if the gas prices would mean she and her husband would have to cancel their trip to Virginia. That’s where the local PT Cruiser owners club is supposed to go in the summer.

“Because we’re retired, that’s kind of what we do: We travel, ” she said. The last time gas prices skyrocketed, the club canceled the annual trip, she said.

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