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Shelley Osterloh ReportingHurricane Katrina won't just affect people on the Gulf Coast. The aftermath could affect all of us at the pump. Already record high gas prices could jump another 20 to 30 cents because of the hurricane.
Today was the first day of class at Weber State University and students already had something to talk about. This year Weber is charging students to park at the Dee Events Center, a primary lot for student vehicles. The reason? Shuttle buses that transport students from the lot to the campus are expensive enough to maintain. Factor in fuel and it becomes much more expensive.
Steve Hansen with Weber facilities management says the university had been considering issuing the fee for quite some time. But when gas prices recently peaked, something had to be done.
Steve Hansen, Weber Facilities management: "We had to find some ways to meet the needs of the students and provide the service in a cost-effective manner and that's what we're trying to do."
It's something everybody is trying to do. This time last year, national gas prices were sitting at $1.87. Today the unleaded average is $2.60. Utah isn't far from that. Last year the state averaged $1.90 a gallon. Today? $2.52.
Shawn Eddy, Student: "It doesn't seem like a lot but when it's 20 dollars here, 20 dollars there, another 20 for this, that and the other. It adds up to be quite a bit."
But many students realize the additional cost is only the result of a situation everyone has to pay for. Weber State is considering a few other options, including buses that operate on natural gas.