Gas prices plummet, commuters rejoice

Hope DeVito/Staff Photographer

Gas prices in the United States have recently dropped, a pleasant surprise for anyone who has to fill up. The new prices are not too big of a deal to students who live on campus and do not drive to school every day, but commuting students are nothing less than grateful.

In April 2014, the average gas price for unleaded gas in New Jersey was $3.47 according to Not even a year later, you can find gas at almost half of that at any gas station. The Delta gas station in South Orange has been selling regular gas for $1.83 with cash and $1.91 with credit. These prices are some of the lowest that New Jersey has seen since 2010, according to GasBuddy. com.

Sophomore commuters Jennifer Panicker, Sally Khalil and Fiorella Calderon said that they greatly appreciate the lower gas prices. Panicker, who drives a 2014 Honda Accord, says that the recent gas prices have been exciting.

“My parents pay for my gas, so before I would be like ‘Oh, I don’t want to drive too much because I don’t want to waste all of it, but now it’s not that expensive. I can even pay for it myself,” she said.

Khalil feels similarly to Panicker.

“I feel more comfortable. It definitely doesn’t feel as bad (to pay for gas) anymore,” Khalil said.

Calderon agreed that the new gas prices are more favorable than before, though her 2003 Ford Explorer is not as fuel efficient as Panicker’s Honda or Khalil’s 2013 Nissan Rogue.

“I can pay for my own gas and I won’t feel like it’s a burden or a bother. Filling my tank isn’t as bad anymore so I don’t mind,” Calderon said.

Panicker and Khalil said that the cheap prices for gas have almost cut the cost to fill their tanks in half. Before the prices dropped, both girls paid over $40 to fill their tanks, but now it only costs them about $22. Calderon could not remember how much she had once paid to fill her Explorer, but she said that it was a lot more than $40. Calderon now pays about $35 to fill up her SUV.

Khalil and Calderon both live about eight miles from the University, but Panicker’s commute is 20 miles. Though Panicker lives the furthest, she finds that her tank does not need to be filled at often as Khalil and Calderon. Panicker said that she fills her tank about every two weeks, Khalil said she fills her tank about once a week, and Calderon said she sometimes may need to fill her tank twice a week.

“My car is a gas guzzler,” Calderon said.

Although the drop in gas prices seems like a gift that keeps on giving, it is actually caused by the basic economic theory of supply and demand. According to The New York Times and DailyFinance, gas prices are dropping for two main reasons.

The first is because of the economic recession in Europe that is causing the price of oil to decrease. Oil is a global market, so the United States is receiving the same prices for oil as the European countries who are currently in recession.

The second reason for the drop in price is because of a slight increase in the production of oil in the US. The US still imports oil into the country, but there is now a greater stock of it on the market, which is lowering the price. Whatever the reasons for the drop in gas prices, commuters are trying to enjoy the extra cash in their pockets for as long as they can.

Panicker, Khalil and Calderon all shared the same question: “How long are these prices going to last?”

Khalil said she hoped for at least a few more months of cheap gas.

“I wonder when the prices do go back up just how high they’ll go, you know what I mean? The prices have been so low so they’re probably going to skyrocket in a few months,” Panicker said.

  • Ashley Turner can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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