MISSOULA — Inflation has reached its highest level in 40 years in the United States after jumping 7.9% over the past year.
Gasoline, food and housing prices were behind February’s price increases, but experts say it could get even worse.
The most recent data did not include the recent gas price hike that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The AAA Automotive Group reported Thursday that prices at the pump hit a new record high, averaging $4.31 a gallon.
MTN News spoke with a Missoula organization about what people can do to avoid gas pump pain.
Climate Smart Missoula says investing in an inexpensive bike, or maybe even an electric car, can not only save you money, but can also help save the planet.
“Trying a different method of transportation can seem daunting at first, but it’s always worth a try,” said Abby Huseth.
“I had this kind of winter bike. I bought it for a really cheap price at Free Cycles just up the hill on First Street.”
Huseth says his family has only one car, “my husband drops off our youngest son who is fifteen months away at his daycare.”
They strive to use him even less, “he tries to minimize travel when he can”.
Climate Smart Missoula executive director Amy Cilimburg is also a fan of cycling. “I’ve done a lot. Put my bike on the bus.”
Now she drives an electric car, “with electric, you’re not bound by that price volatility that comes with a regular gas-powered vehicle.”
Cilimburg says there are plenty of transportation options in Missoula, so it should be easy to find what’s right for you, “there are many creative ways to get around that combine walking, biking, and taking the bus.”
Cilimburg said these affordable options can also be sustainable.
“You’re helping to reduce our community’s contribution to climate change and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions that come with driving, but there are also very significant air quality benefits. ” – Amy Cilimburg, Executive Director of Climate Smart Missoula
If you are looking for more information, you can visit the Climate Smart Missoula website. Additionally, the Missoula in Motion website has information on carpooling and carpooling.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline was $4.32 a gallon on Thursday. In Montana, that average hit $4 a gallon, the same as in Missoula County.