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Central Ohio Drivers Reduce Gasoline Consumption

Crude Oil futures begin the week at their lowest level since April 7th. Energy industry analysts say the six week slide in futures contract prices is a result of concern about an erosion in demand for gasoline. As pump prices move in a range between $2.60 and $3.00 per gallon, Central Ohio drivers have found ways to keep a little money in their pockets.

The dip in demand for gasoline starts with drivers like Kendall Mitchell of Worthington. A college student with a part time job. He says he keeps his car parked more often. Mitchell lives about four miles from his work. He takes the High Street-Crosswoods bus several times a week to make it to his job and saves a little pocket money for other expenses. "...at $2.50 I'll probably ride to work if I can get a full tank on $2.50 every once in awhile. But, I usually always take the bus. Says Mitchell.

Across town, in New Albany, Jeremy Rycus, checks gas prices on-line before his daily commute to a job at A-O-L. He says he also combines trips around town in an effort to pay less at the pump and reduce his gas consumption. " I would say a little bit, I try to combine errands...definitely around town. When the gas prices are high I do check gas prices on-line." Rycus says he might save several tankfuls of gas each year by combining his errands.

Silas Seblzungo spends more time behind the wheel than most central Ohio drivers. He drives a cab for Shamrock taxi. "I'm pretty mcuh working for the gas." Seblzungo says on some days his fares and the cost of gasoline are about the same. Much of his profit comes from more generous tips from fares.

The change in driver behaviour comes just as the summer travel season begins. Claudia Vecchio of the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism and others in the travel business are bracing for a possible downturn in business.

In response, Vechhio says the division has turned to what she calls "experiential marketing" of some of Ohio's attractions to lure travelers to theme parks and nature spots without mentioning the higher costs of gasoline

With Memorial Day week-end, the first holiday of summer just days away, The Ohio Auto Club says gas prices are expected to average more than $2.90 cents per gallon. or about 0.75 cents higher than this time last year.