Calgary Drivers Empowered By App on Looming Gas Price Adjustment

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | March 3, 2014 1:35 PM EST

Lucky drivers in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. An app informed them about a looming gas price adjustment, essentially empowering them at the right time on Thursday to manage the situation, their gas supplies as well as their expenses.

REUTERS
Gasoline prices are shown at a gas station in Del Mar, California March 9, 2011.

The app known as "Gas Buddy" had been closely monitoring and conducting careful analysis of retail and wholesale prices. It had saved commuter members as it had become adept at predicting when price increases are likely to occur.

"They tend not to hike on the weekend, it's usually Thursday. Before the weekend is a popular day to hike the price in Calgary," Jason Towes from Gas Buddy said.

True enough, prices of gas shot eight cents a litre to $1.20 in Calgary, a metropolis of nearly 1.1 million people. Gas Buddy non-members were of course aghast.

"We have a history of the wholesale prices and retail prices, and we know that when the gas stations' margins get to a certain point they're going to raise their prices," Mr Towes said. "That's what happened this time."

As with most apps, Gas Buddy works to alert commuters of upcoming gas price boosts so that members can get to enjoy the window to refill stocks at lower prices.

Jason Parent, petroleum price analyst, said Canadians might as well expect gas prices to continue rising.

"What happens sometimes in the retail market is the retailers are unwilling to make the first move to raise their prices to retain market share," Mr Parent said. "They tend to hold that price until their markets get squeezed and it gets unsustainable for them, and you see a large jump in price."

Prices of gas in the Canadian market have been had been steadily dropping since May 2013, but had jumped 30 cents per liter over a three week period.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Mike Blake)
Gasoline prices are shown at a gas station in Del Mar, California March 9, 2011.
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