Stockton resident and San Joaquin Delta College student Diolinda Asuncion spends about $100 on gasoline for her 1998 Mercedes at least once a week.
It’s more than she can afford since she’s a single mother and full-time Delta College student trying to make ends meet.
“It’s outrageous! I’m a single parent trying to get through college to better my life and gas prices are not helping,” said Asuncion.
Asuncion could take the bus, but like many other Delta College students she agrees that it is an unreliable source of transportation especially when she has her 14-year-old son to worry about as well.
When asked how much she pays for a full tank, Asuncion laughed and replied “The question is can I afford to pay for a full tank?”
Like everyone else who drives a car or truck, Asuncion is affected by the ever-increasing gas prices.
“I can’t afford to get a full tank,” Asuncion said.
“I’m trying to get an extra job; my paycheck working at the campus library just isn’t cutting it,” she said.
Fellow Delta College student Felipe Granados shares Asuncion’s concerns.
“I commute from Tracy so it’s about at 25 minute drive both ways; my 98 Explorer isn’t the best on gas either,” she said.
With gas prices on the rise, older cars that used to be gas savers are now sucking money out of people’s wallets.
“It’s ridiculous! I used to pay $40 for a full tank [of gas], now its $100,” said Granados.
If gas prices continue to increase Granados said it would have an effect on his everyday routine.
“I’m going to have to find different means to get [to school].” Not only would it affect how Granados gets to school, but what he does with his hard earned cash.
“All my money right now goes to gas. There are no personal expenses; I can’t even afford to get McDonalds,” he said.
Taylor Maruca, a Livermore resident and second semester Delta College student commutes two hours to and from school.
Maruca said the pinch every time she has to fill up her 2000 Chrysler Sebring even though it averages 23 miles to the gallon.
“Most of my paycheck goes to gas,” said Maruca. “If prices go up anymore I’ll have to cut back in driving, but there’s no other way I can get to school because the bus doesn’t come all the way to Livermore. I’ll have to cut back on driving around town.”
This is difficult for Maruca, between the rising gas prices and the sliding economy her paycheck is smaller while the price at the pump seems to get larger each visit.
“They are hiring more people at my work so there are fewer hours and in return it cuts back on my paycheck,” she said.
While many students feel the price at the pump is unfair, 41 year old Delta student Vince Serna has a different opinion.
“I understand it, it’s a business, things happen,” said Serna. “Gas prices are what they are so I pay what I need to pay; it’s easier than struggling for subsidies.”
If gas wasn’t so expensive, what would you spend your money on?
“Bills,” said Diolinda Asuncion , 37.
“School books and clothes,” said Felipe Granados , 20.
“Food and fun,” said Taylor Maruca , 18.
“Food and clothing,” said Anthony Paderes , 19.