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'Trying to be conscientious of people's finances': High gas prices force rideshares to adapt

MGA LUX runs on three vehicles, sometimes needing fuel twice a day, adding up to nearly a $1,000 a week.

MACON, Ga. — Georgia gas prices are a bit below the national average, but they're still posing a challenge for Houston County business owners.

On Tuesday, gas at Buc-ee's cost $4.19, so nowadays, just about everyone is dreading going to the pump, especially those who own a transportation business.

Gas prices rising and dropping are keeping everyone on their toes.

"It has honestly been a lot," Shante Grane said.

Grane and Matt Lewis co-own Middle Georgia Luxury Transportation. They are a private transportation service like Lyft and Uber.

"Anything transportation-wise where you don't want to get behind the wheel and just want to enjoy the ride, that's what we are here for," Grane said.

They usually have about 200 customers a month. That could be customers who need rides to the Atlanta airport or even to wedding destinations, so MGA LUX runs on three vehicles, sometimes needing fuel twice a day, adding up to nearly a $1,000 a week.

"We have to try to fill up here, just to try and save some money, because the further you get up by the airport, it's 30-40 cents more," Grane said.

Due to the high prices, Lewis says they've added a fuel sub-charge.

"We're not trying to get them to pay for the entire trip, just a very small portion of it, just to help us stay afloat and rather than to change our overall prices, we did it as an additional miscellaneous fee," Lewis said.

For example, that extra charge would add $10 to a trip to the airport.

"Truly that isn't enough. Now, that it is reaching mid-4s, other states are well over 5, and I am sure Georgia is coming soon. We're trying to be conscientious of people's finances. They're going through it just like we are, but more than likely, we are going to have to adjust it again just based on what's happening," Lewis said.

According to AAA spokesperson, Garrett Townsend, the national average of gas is just above $5 and Georgia's average is about $4.50.

"We are probably going to be paying higher prices this summer," Townsend said.

"It's affecting us a little bit more, because we are on the road so often. Like Matt said, we don't want to raise our prices, because we are praying this is temporary, not just like us, but for everyone," Grane said.

Now Lewis and Grane say the sub-charge is temporary until prices go back down. Townsend recommended keeping up with your oil changes, and checking your tire pressure to try and save money on gas, too.

In May, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order extending the suspension of the state's gas tax to July, saving you around 29 cents per gallon.

   

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