MNLA photo by Clancy O'Dessky

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Riverside County rose Thursday for the 34th time in 37 days, increasing a half-cent to $4.876.

The average price has increased 44.3 cents over the past 37 days, including 1.9 cents Wednesday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 9.8 cents more than one week ago and 34.4 cents higher than one month ago but 67.1 cents less than one year ago.

The average price has dropped $1.497 since rising to a record $6.373 on Oct. 5, 2022.

The national average price rose for the ninth consecutive day following a run of 29 decreases in 31 days totaling 15.3 cents, increasing 2.1 cents to $3.467. The national average price is 9.3 cents more than one week ago and 3 cents more than one month ago but 78.5 cents lower than one year ago.

The national average price has dropped $1.549 since rising to a record $5.016 on June 14.

“The national average rose last week as the transition to summer gasoline has now started across the entire country,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, which provides real-time gas price information from more than 150,000 stations.

“The higher cost of these various blends is being passed along to motorists, as we see every year ahead of the summer driving season. Some regions are moving to the required summer gasoline in different steps then others, and the fragmentation of required blends absolutely plays a role in these price increases.

“Logistical challenges in making the transition during a time when refiners are also doing maintenance work can create hot spots and lead to noticeable jumps in prices during the spring. While we may not see weekly increases, the overall trend will remain upward through much of the spring.

“By Memorial Day, most of the nation will have transitioned to their respective required blend of fuel, and gas prices could ease, but a $4 per gallon national average remains possible by then.”

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