Summer travel heats up despite rising gas prices

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Motorists will pay more at the pump this summer. Jeff Chirico reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on August 3, 2018.

As vacationers continue to hit the road this summer, they're feeling it in the wallet. Gasoline prices in the Delaware Valley have risen slightly this week and are currently 50 cents higher than this time last year.

According to AAA's spokesperson Jana Tidwell, the increase has not had an effect on motorists driving habits. "People have not curved their driving. They have not curbed their willingness to take a vacation."

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded costs $3.07 in Pennsylvania, $2.91 in New Jersey and $2.79 in Delaware.

Carly DeLisi of South Philadelphia crosses over the state line to save money on cigarettes, soda, and fuel which she says are less expensive in Delaware. "Everything's cheaper in Delaware. I'm going to move to Delaware."

Tidwell said the biggest factor driving prices up is the cost of crude oil which is 40% higher than last summer. Increased summer demand is expected to cause prices to climb until Labor Day. By mid-September, gas stations will switch from summer blend gasoline to the cheaper winter-blend gasoline which can knock a dime off the price of a gallon of fuel.

Another factor that can impact the price at the pump is the potential for tropical

storms or hurricanes. "We have many refineries in that area. If any storm were to hit those refineries and impact production, even temporarily, we'll feel that in prices at the pump here," said Tidwell.
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