Utahns are tired of rising gasoline prices, many are on the verge of driving less and most think prices will continue to go up, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
More than three fourths of Utahns - 76 percent - think gasoline prices will continue rising dramatically or gradually. Only 16 percent think they'll level off and only 5 percent think gas prices will drop.About a third of Utahns say when prices hit $1.50 a gallon, they'll park their cars and start riding the bus or car pooling, pollster Dan Jones & Associates found.
If gasoline prices hit $2 a gallon, 68 percent said they'll be actively looking for other modes of transportation besides the family car.
Gasoline prices are a topic of conversation these days. Where one could fill up the family's economy sedan two months ago for $10, now it costs $15.
A sampling of opinion from motorists buying gas Friday morning largely validated the poll findings.
Most felt prices would continue to escalate gradually and most were feeling pressure to modify driving habits.
"It hasn't affected me so far, but I expect it will," said Steve Horton. "I don't think there is any justification for the increases. There's an oil glut now and OPEC is supposed to be working overtime. One country dropping out should not have this kind of effect."
"I hate it, it's awful," said Karla Rogerson. "It's getting hard to afford to go to work. It makes you wish UTA operated during graveyard shifts. Thank goodness for gas-miser cars."
Steve Freeman was the most pessimistic, predicting prices will reach $2 per gallon.
"I don't think the price increases are justified. I've found myself trying to pool more often."
Most of those interviewed felt the Persian Gulf crisis was being unfairly used to justify price hikes. And they expressed hope that a resolution to the crisis would have a stabilizing effect on gasoline prices.
What is the maximum amount per gallon you would pay at the gas pump before you would consider alternative forms of transportation?
(Price per gallon)
$1.50 or less 30%
$1.51 to $2.00 38%
$2.01 to $2.50 10%
Over $2.50 12%
Don't know 10%