SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Gas stations, car washes and convenience stores owned by Price Management are experimenting with change in order to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Today at Point Market within Turnpike Shell, the company installed plexiglass shields at the register in order to prevent the spread of airborne germs,
“We’ve definitely stepped up our cleaning procedures,” Price Management vice president of operations Jeremy Jewell said. “We’ve always been diligent about keeping our properties clean but now it’s more important than ever.”
Although car wash operations have been limited to exterior cleans, they’ve transitioned many of these workers into a new role.
“We thought that it would be beneficial to everyone to get some people moved over from our carwashes and station them at our fuel pumps to keep the community safe,” Jewell said.
Customers seem to appreciate the extra precaution being taken.
“It’s nice to know that somebody else is taking action and doing that for the people that don’t think about it,” Lompoc-based delivery driver Aaron Looney said. “This is a really big vector point for people and they don’t realize it.”
“Despite fewer people filling up their tanks, the demand for retail and convenience stores has exponentially increased.”
“We’ve seen a nice uptick in our market business,” Jewell said. “We’ve brought in some new products to accommodate people and help prevent them from going into the crowded grocery stores.”
With the coronavirus crushing the economy, the average gas price on the Central Coast has fallen to $3.25 per gallon over the past month.
“Market comes down first then fuel prices at the street will tend to fall off there afterward,” Jewell said. “We should see that continue to happen as long as the price of oil continues to decline.”
“Benefits me anytime we have to leave and go out because we’re not paying almost $4 for a gallon of gas,” Looney concluded. “I worry about that a lot of the time so it’s nice to only pay half.”
While the demand for gas continues to plummet, Price Management remains focused on keeping customers feeling safe at the pump.