(WETM) – The new year started with gas prices continuing their downward trend, but they still remain over a dollar higher than this time last year. However, the Southern Tier is seeing some of the lowest prices across the State.

The state average is $3.49, which is a cent cheaper than it was a week earlier. Meanwhile, the national average held firm at $3.29 a gallon. Last year at this time the price of gas was $2.33 in the Empire State and $2.26 nationally. These numbers are according to AAA.

Below are the averages of local cities and counties compared to their prices a week ago:

  • Elmira: $3.33 (down two cents from a week ago)
  • Ithaca: $3.49 (down one cent from a week ago)
  • Binghamton: $3.45 (no change from last week)
  • Chemung County: $3.34
  • Schuyler County: $3.41
  • Steuben County: $3.44
  • Tioga County, NY $3.45
  • Tompkins County: $3.48

AAA also noted that gas prices are much higher to start 2022 than have over the last five years. The national average is $1.03 higher than it was to start 2021 and is $1.16 more expensive in New York State than last year. 

Here’s a look at gas prices at the start of the new year (January 1-3) recently: 

According to AAA

AAA says to conserve fuel, motorists should map routes, avoid peak traffic times like rush hour, and combine errands into one trip while using cruise control when possible. Drivers should also make sure tire pressure is at the vehicle’s recommended level for the best gas mileage while removing any unnecessary and bulky items from the car since it takes more fuel to accelerate a heavy vehicle.