Philadelphia Hit $4 a Gallon

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Philadelphia Hit $4 a Gallon

PHILADEPHIA -- The greater Philadelphia market has joined an unpopular but growing trend -- the $4 dollar gallon of gas club.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, seven gas stations in the eight-county area posted prices of $4 or more for regular-grade yesterday. All locations, the report stated, were on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River.

"It seems like it's been inching up every day, even if it's just by a penny or two," Catherine L. Rossi of AAA MidAtlantic told "We had expected that some stations in the Philadelphia area would reach $4. We're hopeful that the average price would not top $4, though it is certainly possible."

Over the weekend, Chicago and New York's Long Island markets hit the feared mark. In South Jersey, the highest price recorded by AAA yesterday was $3.97 a gallon.

"Crude [oil] is the driving force for the gasoline price hikes," Rossi told "It really depends on what happens with crude. If it goes down or stays the same, we may not reach $4. If crude goes up, it surely will."

If the rising prices weren't punishment enough, customers using credit cards are getting a double-whammy. "Some stations are charging more for credit card use," Rossi told the news service. "They're passing on the card-processing fees to drivers." Credit card
transactions generally run about six cents more a gallon than cash, she explained.

According to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, pump prices in parts of California have been stuck above $4 a gallon for weeks, while prices in Alaska and Connecticut are averaging just above $4 a gallon.

This time last year, the national average was $3.18 a gallon.