Gas Prices Continue to Rise in Palo Alto, the Bay Area

Are you kicking yourself because you didn't fill up when it was 'only' $4.53 a gallon? Should you fill up now before they go up again? How do you cope?


Even gas station employees are hurting.

Valeria Garcia, the counter clerk at Rancho's 76 Union station, said she arrived at work Friday morning and was shocked to see the gas price jump 24 cents overnight.

It was an eye-popping $4.75 a gallon for regular and $4.95 for supreme.

"A lot of people are complaining, but it's really not our fault," she said. She drives to Los Altos every day from San Jose and she's feeling the pinch.

Across California, residents awoke to find that gas prices had increased significantly overnight even by as much as 20 cents in Ventura. The price in Palo Alto is definitely higher than the Bay Area average of $4.52, according to AAA.

The sharp rise has been attributed to decreased supply coming out of California's refineries, including the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

From his perch next to the Foothill Expressway in downtown Los Altos, Chevron station owner Jay Kim said customers seemed resigned Friday.

He noticed they had started to buy less gas last week, when prices began to creep up, hoping that prices would go down. But, amid reports that prices could go even higher, customers started hitting the pumps. Kim said he sold about the same volume of gas Friday as he usually does. 

At Rancho Shopping Center, Gustavo Jimenez drove up to the 76 Union station in his red, 1992 Camaro to deliver a part from O'Reilly's Auto Parts, where he works. He's never actually filled up the tank of his high-performance car—ever—he admitted. "I just fill it up $30 at a time and it lasts me two or two-and-a-half days."

If you plan to shop around for gas, here's Patch's handy gas guide.

How will you cope with the increase in prices? Will you drive less? Will you use alternate modes, like a bike? Will you carpool to work?

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