Fuel costs keeping Maritime drivers off the road, looking for alternatives: poll

Click to play video: 'Maritime drivers experiencing pain at the pumps as prices soar'
Maritime drivers experiencing pain at the pumps as prices soar
WATCH: Record high fuel prices have Maritimers checking their wallets and how much they’re driving. With gasoline hovering around $2 a litre in some areas and diesel even higher, fuel prices are driving up the cost of living. Robert Lothian has more on the pain at the pumps – May 12, 2022

Paying more to fill up the tank is causing drivers in the Maritimes to rethink where they’re allocating their funds.

“It changes the way we budget for sure,” Steve Schwetz said while filling up his 1957 Chevrolet, “I just got this one out of storage today and filling it up, and it’s probably gonna cost me over a hundred bucks to do that.”

The maximum price for gasoline in New Brunswick climbed over $2 per litre on Thursday. It marked another week where prices set a new all-time high.

Though diesel users experienced minor relief, the maximum still remains at over $2.60 per litre.

Read more: Record prices at the pump in New Brunswick fuel frustration

According to a poll by Narrative Research — a Halifax-based public opinion and market research company — the rising cost of fuel has Canadians reconsidering how they use their vehicle.

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In Atlantic Canada, nearly 60 per cent of those polled noted they are driving less because of the rising cost of living.

Nationwide, over four in 10 Canadians are now driving less by limiting either the number or distance of trips.

Read more: N.B. premier declares revenue from record gas prices will go back to public

Constantine Passaris, a professor of economics at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, doesn’t foresee a significant break at the pumps for any holiday weekends or throughout the entire summer.

Even lesser demand caused by an increase in drivers trading their car keys in for cheaper alternatives such as walking or biking likely won’t sway the markets for any meaningful change.

“The direction of the prices for gasoline in the foreseeable future is upward and at higher and higher levels,” said Passaris, “So any relief for consumers is going to be infinitesimally small.”

Speaking about what he will have to do to ease the financial pain, Schwetz joked he would find a new way to get around.

“Maybe I’ll buy a horse.”


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