Saturday, February 19, 2000

'Cheapest' gas is still $1.39


Bargain hunters should shop Kentucky

BY MICHAEL D. CLARK
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If you are going to drive a circle tour of the Tristate via Interstate 275, and you want to save on gas, fill up your tank in Hebron, Ky.

HIGHS AND LOWS
  According to Friday's random survey along Interstate 275, the five gas stations with the highest price-per-gallon for regular, unleaded were:
  • $1.55, Shell, Montgomery Road.
  • $1.54, Shell, U.S. 42.
  • $1.53, Speedway, Loveland-Madeira Road.
  • $1.52, Super America, Colerain Avenue.
  • $1.51, United Dairy Farmers, Beechmont Avenue.
  Four stations along I 275 with the lowest price-per-gallon for regular, unleaded gas were:
  • $1.39, Shell, Ky. 237, Hebron.
  • $1.44, BP, Ky. 237, Hebron.
  • $1.45, United Dairy Farmers, Ky. 17, Covington.
  • $1.49, Ashland, Ohio 32, Clermont County.
        There you'll find regular unleaded for only $1.39 a gallon, the cheapest price found in an unscientific spot check of gas stations Friday along Greater Cincinnati's outer-belt highway.

        “We've been very, very busy,” said Kathy Hill, a cashier at the Shell station on Ky. 237, just south of I-275 in Hebron, Boone County.

        “Everybody tells us they wish they had come here to fill up,” said Ms. Hill during a short break in ringing up customers.

        The highest price was also a Shell station but in Ohio off Winton Road, in Forest Park, just south of the interstate. It cost $1.75 per gallon of premium unleaded gas.

        Overall, gas prices along I-275 are noticeably lower in Kentucky.

        Earlier this week, gasoline jumped as much as 20 cents overnight, reaching then-record highs of $1.50 a gallon and more for regular unleaded at many pumps.

        Gas industry analysts have said the run-up in prices is particularly acute in the Ohio Valley because two refineries in northern Ohio were out of service for maintenance.

        Pat Brewster said the recent gas-price jumps make her plan her car trips.

        “I try to make sure I go to the store just once a week,” said the retired Sharonville woman. “I'm on a fixed income so I really have to be careful.”

        “It doesn't do any good to get angry. I have to use gas to drive,” she said after filling up at a BP station off U.S. 42.

        But other gas customers are not showing the same restraint, said Dotty Brown, a clerk for the United Dairy Farmers off Ky. 17 in Covington.

        Although the store sells unleaded gas at one of the lowest prices — $1.45 per gallon — along I-275, she said many customers can be heard complaining.

        “I don't blame them. They're frustrated like everyone else,” said Ms. Brown.

        An employee of the Speedway gas station off State Route 32 just west of I-275 said though individual stations, and their employees, have no say in gas prices, that doesn't stop people venting in their direction.

        “They always blame us. People always complain to us when the prices go up,” said the employee, who requested anonymity because of Speedway's corporate policy.

       



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