TEXAS (TAUT/TAUT) — High gas prices are hitting Texans hard, forcing some to reassess their lifestyle.
In a normal summer, Orvilia Nieto might travel in the RV she lives in in Lytle, Texas. But that might not happen this year. She struggles to fill the tank of her 2008 Ford Expedition SUV so she can get to work at a TJ Maxx distribution center in San Antonio, about 20 miles away.
Nieto and his colleagues swap tips on where gas is the cheapest. She sometimes carpools or only fills up half full, which still costs her more than $50. But she feels lucky. A handful of colleagues from his shift, which ends at 2:30 a.m., cycle home in the dark.
“It’s been a tough road,” she said. “If we lived in town it would be easier, we could take the bus, but at the end of the shift at 2:30 am, which bus line is available?”
Nieto is not alone. Millions of Americans who rely on their car for work are changing their habits, signing up for carpooling or even ditching their cars for bikes, as gas prices recently hit $5 a gallon for the very first time. This week, it’s averaging $4.95 a gallon nationally, down from $3.06 a gallon a year ago, according to AAA.
Jill Chapman, senior performance consultant at Insperity, a Texas-based human resources and recruiting firm, said gas prices and commute times are increasingly a sticking point with job applicants. ‘use. Chapman said companies could consider temporary bonuses, public transit incentives or gas cards to help their employees.
“A business owner needs to recognize that there is stress associated with rising gas prices,” Chapman said.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden asked Congress to suspend federal gasoline taxes for three months, which would reduce gasoline prices by 18.4 cents per gallon. He also called on states to suspend their own gasoline taxes.
Biden’s push faces challenges in Congress. In the meantime, gas is putting a strain on budgets.