British Columbia

Endure the pain at the pump or shun gas altogether? B.C. commuters react to rising gas prices

With gas prices spiking, some commuters are feeling the pain at the pump, while others have turned away from gas altogether.

‘As the world changes, you've got to adapt with it,’ says one commuter who turned away from gas

Gas prices are on the rise in Metro Vancouver and are expected to keep climbing. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)

Analysts have been warning British Columbians about the impending spike in gas prices, but that doesn't make the adjustment any easier.

With gas prices spiking, some commuters are feeling the pain at the pump, while others have turned away from gas altogether.  

"I put in 50 bucks [of gas] about every other day," said Rob Thomasson, who drives a Mazda 3.  

Thomasson lives in Chilliwack and commutes daily to his tech job in Burnaby, roughly an hour-and-a-half drive each direction.

Taking public transportation would double his commute time and, in the past, he's tried unsuccessfully to carpool.  

Prices at the pump are expected to creep up to $168.9 by the end of the week. (Associated Press)

"Right now, my wife and I just budget those gas prices and do the best we can," Thomasson said.

Prices don't look like they'll be dropping anytime soon, either.

On Thursday, according to GasBuddy, some gas stations in Vancouver were charging $1.65.9 a litre  — compared to last year's historic high of $1.63.9.

Prices at the pump in Vancouver are expected to creep up to $168.9 by the end of the week.

Some British Columbians are feeling the pinch less than others, though, since switching to hybrid or fully electric vehicles.  

Jeff Kendrew, who lives on Vancouver Island, said watching gas prices rise pushed him toward electric vehicles. He owns two now: a Tesla Model 3 and a Nissan Leaf.

"For me, I like tech-savvy things," he said, describing his motivations for going electric.

"Environment came second and, once I got the Leaf, I learned that it is incredibly inexpensive to operate."

Jeff Kendrew, who owns two electric vehicles, standing beside his Tesla. He said it was the technology that originally drew him to electric — and then he saw the gas savings. (Gregor Craigie/CBC)

'You've got to adapt'

Sean Armitage, who lives in Squamish and commutes all over B.C. for work, also turned away from gas  — but says it doesn't have to come with the hefty price tag.

Armitage is on to his third Toyota Prius, after years of spending about $70 a day driving his work truck or van.  

His Prius Prime runs in electric mode for the majority of his commute before switching to a gas-efficient mode.

"The savings in fuel I'm seeing which adds up to $1,200 a month — that's almost three times a lease payment for the vehicle," he said.

"As the world changes, you've got to adapt with it and you need to find the right tools for the right job."

With files from On The Island and The Early Edition

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