High Gas Prices Hit College Students

Some Looking For Alternatives

College students are feeling the pinch of gas prices. Those who commute are finding themselves spending hundreds of dollars a month on gas just to get to school.

We spoke to students from Taft College who commute between Bakersfield and Taft. Some are saying if gas prices keep rising, it may get too expensive to stay in school.

Three-quarters of all students who go to Taft college commute, most of those are from Bakersfield. "I have class everyday Monday through Thursday," said Taft College freshman and Bakersfield resident Taylor Blair. With gas prices quickly approaching $4 a gallon, some students are having a hard time keeping up. "My parents are helping me pay for gas since I am going to school," Blair said.

Blair is taking court reporting at Taft. But some of her classes are in Shafter. "I’m there from 8:30 -12:30 drive all the way to Taft it’s an extra 45 minutes, and then I have to drive home, which is another 45 minutes," Blair said.

Even the staff at Taft College is having a hard time. Joey Stockman works in the I.T. Department at the college. "I usually blow through a tank of gas in two or three days," Stockman said.

People we spoke to say it’s a frustrating situation. "All the shenanigans that go on with the oil companies and then all the wars and all the middle east conflicts its definitely hard to make an informed opinion on something like that but as far as I’m concerned its almost extortion," Stockman said. “It doesn't really matter where you go gas prices are just affecting everyone," Blair said.

Now students and staff alike are looking at options that don’t require so much gas. “I think if it keeps rising like they say it’s going to by summer if we are at $5 if it gets any higher than that I am definitely going to have to reconsider and do online classes," Blair said. "It handcuffs the working class it keeps people from being able to go out and find jobs where they are," Stockman said.

Some students we spoke to say they have started carpooling with other students. But they said even that is getting expensive and price to join one of those car pools may be going up.

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