Rise in Gas Prices has People Feeling the Pinch - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rise in Gas Prices has People Feeling the Pinch

KENNEWICK, Wash.- Signs of the shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Pipeline are now hitting consumers at the pump.

Prices have risen more than 10 cents this week, and they aren't expected to stop anytime soon, something drivers said is forcing them to make changes.

"It costs me like about $60 to fill up each time, every three days it seems like," said Denise Burford.

"I've got less to pay my bills.  Takes a lot of money out of there.  There's lots of things I've had to give up, like spare running around," said a man who only wanted to be referred to as Tom.

The current Tri-Cities average for Regular Unleaded is $3.13 a gallon, nearly 11 cents higher than a week ago, and people said they can't remember prices this high.

"Isn't there all kinds of reserves, you know, don't they have reserves we're supposed to tap into in situations like this," said Roger Olin.

"I think it's pretty bad when we're paying prices like this for gas," he said.

The record highs aren't just hitting consumers, businesses are suffering as well. At $3.38, diesel is also at a record high.

The Pasco School District has allocated an extra $130,000 dollars for fuel this year, forcing them to cut back.  They're consolidating stops, forcing some students to walk further to get to the bus.

Drivers are also choosing to ride the bus more.

Ben Franklin Transit is adding a new route in West Richland to meet the demand.

"The price of gas and other economic conditions, we're getting a lot more ridership and it's now cost effective for us to put out a fixed route out there," said Brad Windler of Ben Franklin Transit.

And they've got good reason to ride.

The people KNDU talked to said they're spending about $25 more per week since prices started climbing again.