Gas prices in N.S. skyrocket again to new record highs

A woman fuels up an SUV at an Esso gas station on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Gas prices in Nova Scotia hit a record high on Friday as the cost of gas surged by 11 cents overnight.

It’s hurting people’s pocketbooks, especially businesses that make their living on the road, like taxi drivers and courier services.

“The average taxi driver would go through about a full tank of gas every two days,” said Angie Herman, owner of Casino Taxi.

Taxi drivers have to absorb the cost of gas and it comes directly off their bottom line, said Herman.

The city of Halifax sets the rates for taxi services, but they haven’t changed in a decade.

Council was supposed to review a rate hike application in March, but Herman says it keeps getting delayed.

“If you are doing three tanks of gas a week, every week, and that rate action is delayed, it’s just very scary because your revenue is actually lower now,” said Herman.

The minimum cost for regular gas is set at 190.9 cents per litre in Nova Scotia. It’s never been this high and it’s making some commuters reconsider their daily trips.

“I had an appointment this morning in the city and so I knew I had to plan to do three or four things when I came in, instead of just going on a whim and enjoying a day in the city,” said Erinn Wright who was filling up on gas Friday.

Courier and delivery operators like Barry Studley say they’re feeling the pinch at the pump.

“It’s just outrageous,” said Studley, who owns and operates Active Courier and Delivery Services.

“I’ve had to put my prices and my fuel surcharge up,” said Studley. “My customers don’t like it, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I fill my van every day and a half and it’s almost two-hundred-and-fifty bucks to fill it now.”

Energy analyst Dan McTeague says prices will continue to climb into the summer and the record price at the pumps is only pushing up the costs of everyday items.

“That adds to the cost of food, that adds to the cost of airline, rail, and trucking costs,” said McTeague.

“And there isn’t much that one can point to that doesn’t have some kind of embedded or input cost directly related to oil and more importantly the increased cost of diesel and gasoline.”

As the taxi industry waits for council to adjust the rates, some companies say they’ve had to add a fuel surcharge of a $1.30 to every fare to help compensate the drivers for having to pay more at the pumps.