Gas prices finally nudged below $3 at a few Tampa Bay area retailers.
According to GasBuddy.com, regular unleaded was $2.98 per gallon Tuesday morning at a Marathon station at 6501 W. Hillsborough Ave., and Thornton’s at 6405 W. Hillsborough Ave. in Town ’N Country. It was $2.99 at Shell stations at 5025 Tampa Road and 4150 W. Hillsborough Ave., in Oldsmar.
By 3 p.m., the website showed some price fluctuation around the city. Prices had risen between 13 and 26 cents at all of those stations, but had dipped to $2.99 at a Circle K station at 1011 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Prices could vary depending on cash or credit transactions or other promotions.
Many others retailers are expected to follow the downward trend.
In September, the $3-plus national average reached the 1,000-day mark, making the latest trend momentous, although not unexpected.
Experts had predicted the drop in recent weeks, citing a post-summer drop in demand and increased production due to a light hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. Prices may also be down due to direct and perceived effects of the federal government shutdown.
The Florida average Tuesday morning was at $3.30, according to AAA. The Tampa Bay area had the lowest average price in the state at $3.18, followed by Orlando at $3.20.
The national average was at $3.35. It has been above the $3 mark since Dec. 23, 2010, according to AAA.