Bakersfield's average gas prices are the highest in California, according to the latest survey of fuel prices by Lundberg Survey, Inc.
"Prices have been crashing since the famous spike," Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the survey, said Monday. "Bakersfield might be higher because the rate of decline has been more pronounced in other places."
The average price of a gallon of regular gas in Bakersfield is $3.73, according to the bi-monthly survey released Sunday. That's compared to a statewide average of $3.52.
The Lundberg Survey looks at eight places in California. Of the places it examines, Stockton had the lowest average at $3.42.
Since Nov. 16, the date of the last survey, Bakersfield's gas prices have dropped about 10 cents, according to the survey. Then, the average price was about $3.83.
By contrast, San Francisco, which traditionally has the highest gas prices in the state, has seen a drop of almost 17 cents, Lundberg said. Prices went from $3.83 to $3.65.
There was a similarly large drop in prices in Los Angeles. Between Nov. 16 and Friday, prices dropped almost 13 cents.
Though Bakersfield's prices are declining at a slower rate than the rest of California, the rate is on par with the rest of the country, Lundberg said. Nationwide, the price of gas has dropped 10 cents, according to the survey.
Still, some drivers in Bakersfield said they were shocked to hear its gas prices topped the rest of the state.
Jesus Beltran, a student at Cal State Bakersfield who was filling up at the Arco at 2301 F St., said his friends in Southern California tell him the gas prices there are more expensive than in Bakersfield.
"My friends tend to fill up whenever they're here because it's cheaper," he said.
As such, he's not sure he believes the survey results. Still, he said he's glad to see prices going down at all, especially since he only makes minimum wage working at the CSUB library.
Tim Stevens said he doesn't pay much attention to gas prices one way or the other. Whatever they are, he's going to need to pay them, he said.
But he was also skeptical of the survey's findings.
"The cost of living in the beaches is pricier than here," he said.
Charles Askew, who was getting gas at the F Street Arco, said he thinks $3.49, the price for a gallon of regular there Monday afternoon, is pretty low. He normally prefers higher quality gas for a bit more money, he said, but went to the Arco on Monday because it's cheap.
"I remember when it was a lot more," Askew said. "At these prices, that's cheap."