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Gas Prices In Ohio Near $3 As Memorial Day Approaches

highway in Columbus
Gabe Rosenberg
I-71 and I-70 in downtown Columbus.

As Memorial Day weekend arrives, many Central Ohioans will be driving to see family and friends. But with driving comes gas, and compared to one month ago, prices are way up.

The average gas price in Ohio has increased from $2.664 to $2.913, according to the American Automobile Association.

Columbus resident Bill Joseph says that because of the increase in price, he does not travel often.

“I’m a senior citizen, I’m low income and I can’t afford $3 a gallon,” he says.

Another Columbus resident, Eric Shaver, believes that the timing is a big reason for why the gas prices have increased.

“I think it’s just a result of probably the holiday weekend and so there’s an opportunity to raise the price,” Shaver says.

Sahid Mansaray says that at the gas pump, he now pays around $9 more than what he used to pay, which makes traveling now just too expensive.

“I used to buy like $20 to fill up my gas, now I have to pay like $29 to fill it up, so that’s not good right now for the economy,” Mansaray says. “If you think about going to Washington (D.C.) or New York, it costs a lot of money to go that trip. Before it’s much better, but now, gas needs to go down.”

While the price has spiked within the month, according to AAA, it’s far from the heights that gas reached after the Great Recession. In 2011, regular unleaded gas cost $4.159 on average in Ohio.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.