gas prices

Fewer Tijuana Residents Fill Up in California as Gas Prices Increase

The three-day increase in gas in San Diego County benefits Tijuana

Gas pump
Miguel Villagran / Getty Images

Due to the increased price of gas in San Diego County, people are now traveling to Tijuana, Mexico, to refuel their cars, when for decades, many Tijuanans preferred to cross into the U.S.

"They come to fill their tanks and return to their homes or workplaces," said Vicente Alonso, a gas station attendant in Tijuana.

Alonso has spent nearly three years refueling the cars of citizens in Tijuana, he says for weeks he has seen even more Americans put gasoline in the city.

“They have mentioned to me several times that there, they notice that the price of gasoline is getting higher than here [Tijuana]," Alonso said.

Well, in Tijuana, gas station businesses say the price has been stable in the last year.

"Here, we have seen increases by cents, there has been an increase of a peso that compared to dollars is not even close to the increase that has been in California," said Alejandro Borja, president of the specialized group national chamber of commerce in the gas station sector.

The three-day increase in gas in San Diego County benefits them.

"If we continue to see that there is a significant increase in the price, it will benefit the gas station sector of the region," explained Alejandro Borja.

Meanwhile, more citizens who constantly cross into the U.S. already prefer gasoline from some parts of Tijuana.

"I have noticed that the fuel yields a lot, so I definitely prefer to go to Mexico," Guillermo Delgado said as he loaded fuel from Tijuana.

San Diego County's gas price averages $4.73 a gallon, which is $1.20 higher than this time last year, reports NBC 7's Joe Little.

However, both businessmen and experts say this situation is changing and corresponds to the effects of the global economy and the support of the government of Mexico, which does not charge taxes for gasoline.

"[Mexico] has given up on collecting a tax or rather most of that tax," said Rigoberto García, a researcher at the northern border college.

So, the benefit for the gas station sector in Tijuana could last only a few weeks.

"But the moment the international price of oil stabilizes and falls to a price that would be more adapted to reality, we would return to the previous scenario," said Rigoberto García, a researcher at the college on the northern border.

Meanwhile, those who live on the border and those who work in Tijuana say they take advantage of the opportunity.

 "There are more sales and more tips," Vicente Alonso said.

The gas station sector in Tijuana added that despite seeing more Americans buy gasoline in Tijuana, which represents an increase in weekend sales in gasoline of up to 30%, their real market is parents and students, who hope they soon return to face-to-face classes to recover the 25% in sales lost since the pandemic.

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