Grand Rapids ranks top five in gas fill-ups during pandemic

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According to Gas Buddy data, Grand Rapids ranked No. 4 in the nation in the number of fuel transactions per month during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Pay with GasBuddy data, between March 1 and May 31, American consumers made an average of 2.8 fuel transactions per month, a drop from the usual 4.5 times per month prior to the outbreak.

Grand Rapids sat over two times the national average with consumers filling their tanks 6.4 times per month, despite demand for fuel at record-breaking lows across the nation since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Courtesy Gas Buddy

Cities that saw more frequent visits to the gas pump were clustered in the Great Lakes region, five out of the top 10, and Texas, three out of the top 10.

Gas Buddy said various factors play a role as to why there were more fueling activities in certain cities than others.

  • Volatile gas prices: The Great Lakes region saw some of the lowest gas prices in more than a decade. Each day brought a new “record-low” price enticing residents to make frequent visits to their local stations to take advantage.
  • Local economy: A city like Las Vegas has been ground zero for the American job crisis. With much of its economy dependent on the leisure and hospitality industry, it leaves very little activity in the city when there is no tourism. The same can be said about Detroit, also on the list of fewest fuel transactions, with the closing of its casinos in March.
  • Varying stay-at-home orders: Texas had one of the shortest stay-at-home orders, while California had one the longest and strictest, which are reflected strongly in GasBuddy’s fuel transaction data. This played a role in whether people had places to go from commuting to work or visiting friends.

Most transactions per person

  1. Dallas: 7.2
  2. Chicago: 6.5
  3. Minneapolis: 6.5
  4. Grand Rapids: 6.4
  5. Houston: 6.4
  6. Virginia Beach, Virginia: 6.4
  7. Cleveland: 6.4
  8. San Antonio: 6.3
  9. Atlanta: 6.3
  10. Cincinnati: 6.3

Fewest transactions per person

  1. Baltimore: 4
  2. Las Vegas: 4
  3. Rochester, New York:  4.2
  4. Providence, Rhode Island: 4.7
  5. Memphis, Tennessee: 4.8
  6. San Francisco: 4.9
  7. Buffalo, New York: 4.9
  8. Sacramento, California: 4.9
  9. San Diego: 5
  10. Detroit: 5.2

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