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BLOOMFIELD, N.J. -- The price of gas on New Jersey's two main toll roads changes only on Fridays, usually just before the morning rush and with the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New Jersey hitting $2.49 on Wednesday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic, this means a savings for customers, The New York Times reported.
New Jersey already has among the cheapest gas prices in the country because of its low fuel taxes, but at eight rest areas along the Garden State Parkway, which pump Mobil gas, and 12 that line the New Jersey Turnpike, which sell Sunoco, the price was lower still, stuck at $2.38 since last Friday morning.
The price is the same up and down the two toll roads, the result of the contract the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has with its fuel vendors, said Joe Orlando, a spokesman for the authority, which also runs the parkway. Those terms allow the vendors to set the price once a week, but no higher than 3 cents a gallon above the average price charged by 100 stations that are surveyed weekly. When prices are rising, drivers on the toll roads are the winners. But when prices fall, they can find themselves paying more for gas than elsewhere, the Times reported.
On Friday, the statewide average was $2.35 per gallon, said Tracy E. Noble, a spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, in Hamilton, N.J. Since then, it has jumped 14 cents, or 6 percent in five days, making a fill-up on the turnpike a bargain, she said.
And while customers may be happy, Frank Durantino owner of a Shell station in Bloomfield, less than a mile away from the parkway was steaming over the loss of more than 500 gallons a day in sales as customers passed by on their way on and off the parkway.
Durantino, who owns two Shell stations, said his cost for fuel had risen 18 cents a gallon in less than a week. So, he was compelled to raise his price to $2.56 a gallon.
"I'm getting crushed over here," he told the Times. "If I was selling my gas at $2.38 a gallon, I'm dead."