Bay Area gas prices hit record highs; expert says it could get worse with Thanksgiving travel

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area gas prices are skyrocketing, with many feeling pain at the pump even before the upcoming, long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Californians are getting crushed at the pump, especially locally.

"The Bay Area in particular has been setting records for gas prices in the last week or two," said Sergio Avila, AAA Northern California Spokesperson.

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Avila says typically demand drops after Labor Day as kids go back to school, but there's been an unusual amount of demand in the last month or so.

Another reason for the rise in prices?

"The price of crude oil has been above $80 a barrel and that typically accounts for about 60% of what we pay at the pump," said Avila.

State and local taxes also contribute to price differences.

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Most Americans are expected to travel by car 4th of July weekend, and some of the most expensive gas in the country is in San Francisco right now.



The San Francisco Shell gas station at 4th and Bryant Street has the most expensive gasoline in the city according to the station's manager. Despite these prices of $5.85 a gallon for regular, the station's location keeps customers coming by steadily.

"It hurts every time, it hurts every time. Sometimes I think it might be cheaper to get a flight," said San Francisco resident Ricky Thomas.

Thomas says he typically fills up in the East Bay, but was too close to E to make it over the bridge.

"Prices are significantly cheaper there, like 30 cents a gallon cheaper, so I like to fill up when I'm over there even if I don't need gas," said Thomas.

Thomas is onto something.

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According to GasBuddy as of Thursday morning, the San Francisco Metro Area was at $4.83 a gallon, the Oakland Metro Area $4.73 a gallon, San Jose Metro area $4.77 a gallon and the San Rafael Metro Area $4.88 a gallon.

"I don't need to fill up my tank here," said Thomas.

Drivers trying to save some money lined up to fill up at the Costco Gas Station on Airport Boulevard in South San Francisco.

"As long as crude oil remains very high, gas prices especially in California, are going to be the highest in the country," said Avila.

Avila says expect another price jump in the coming weeks.

"We're expecting 53.4 million people to travel for Thanksgiving with 90% of those doing so by vehicle," said Avila.

Luckily for Thomas he won't be going far.

"My family lives in San Francisco so I'm going to travel within the city um so it shouldn't be too bad," said Thomas.

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