Drivers thankful for lower gas price forecast

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 24, 2013 at 5:29 p.m.

Correspondent Mark Shephard visited the Concord Mall this week and asked, “A Purdue University economist expects gas prices in the Midwest to stay between $3.50 and $3.90 this summer due to increased oil production. What do you think of these prices, and will they invigorate your summer driving plans?”

Jeff Wagner, disabled support, Goshen:

“It would be nice if it was lower. But, yeah, $3.50, that would be better than what it is now. It won’t mess up my summer driving.” Follow-up: So you’re planning on going somewhere this summer? “Not far, far way. It will be different things around the area — Shipshewana, north side of Elkhart, downtown Goshen, around there.” Follow-up: How satisfied are you with your current vehicle and the gas mileage it gets, and what future plans do you have in that area? “I’ve got one that’s good, and we’ve got one that’s bad.”

Braulio Machado, truck driver, South Bend:

“I hope they stay like that. I drive a lot, and I’m an independent operator, so I have to pay for my own gas. If it goes up, it’s no good for me.” Follow-up: Do you have any future plans for a new vehicle that gets better gas mileage? “That’s my plan right now. I used to go to Chicago, but now I don’t go to Chicago, so I don’t need a truck like that. I need something smaller than that.”

Tycorie Moton, manufacturing, Elkhart:

“As the gas prices go up, it would be like I have to travel less and make other plans. I liked them when they was at like $3 a gallon, personally.” Follow-up: Are you planning on doing anything with a new vehicle that gets better gas mileage in the future? “If I could afford it. No, probably not around this time.”

Rhonda Potucek, baker, Elkhart:

“Personally I think they’re too high the way they are. I mean one minute they’ll be $3.50, and then a couple of hours later down the road they’ll be $3.85, $3.90. So I don’t agree with the prices at all.” Follow-up: What do your future summer driving plans entail? “Oh, nothing. Homecations, or however they say that — staycations.” Follow-up: How about future vehicle plans? “We already switched from a minivan to a car. I wish we could have (switched to a hybrid), but at least it gets better gas mileage than the minivan.”

Rafaella Ramirez, U.S. Army Reserves administrative specialist and corrections officer, Elkhart:

“I’m in the military and I do drive all over Indiana, so the lower the better. So I guess in a way it is going to be a little expensive for me anyway.” Follow-up: Are you looking at possibly getting a hybrid vehicle in the future? “We’re looking at getting a new vehicle, being that I’m expecting and I’m going to need more room, and I’m thinking an SUV — something that is going to need more fuel, and be more expensive to operate.”

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