Mahoning Valley drivers loving low gas prices

The Youngstown-Warren region is experiencing the lowest gas prices in the state.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Drivers are sporting their biggest smiles approaching Christmas since 2009. Right now, the national average for gas is about to fall below $2 per gallon.

The Youngstown-Warren region has the lowest metro average pump price in the state at $1.77.

At the Shell gas station on state Route 224 and Tippecanoe Road in Boardman, customers were taking advantage of the low prices.

“It definitely helps with the bills,” said Yazan Jadallah. “As far as the other bills that I have to pay, it makes a huge difference.”

“It’s big, especially around the holidays and all the money that you’re spending on everything. It saves you a lot of money,” said Michelle White.

The average vehicle uses 580 gallons of gas every year. That’s $1,050 for a year of gas at a $1.81. When gas is $3.80, that amount climbs to $2,200.

Mark Bagnoli, president of Fab Limousines, said cheap gas has been good for businesses in the transportation industry.

Last year, Fab Limousine spent $10,000 to $12,000 a month to fill up its buses and $4,000 to $6,000 to gas up the limos in its 20-vehicle fleet. Now, that fuel bill is more friendly.

“Well, I know it has helped us quite a bit,” Bagnoli said. “It has been a real big boost. The cost has gone down almost in half. It has really helped us, because other areas — like turnpike tolls, insurance, licensing, permits — those have all gone up.”

The average household is expected to save $550 dollars on gas this year, and motor fuel spending is dropping to its lowest amount in 11 years. But lower gas prices can also have a negative effect in other areas.

“As an investor, my stocks are going down considerably due to the price of gas being so low,” said Charlie Switzer.

Most big oil companies have seen their share price hit hard, as oil has gone from $100 a barrel to under $40. With those low prices, many energy and mining companies are taking the hit, cutting jobs and production across the U.S. due to the lack of demand.

And while drivers benefit from the low prices, they also continue to purchase gasoline when the prices go up.

“It’s really funny. When it gets to a $1.85, people are, “Oh look, it went up”,” said Scott LaVange. “It’s funny how people relate to prices.”

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