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Southland Gasoline Prices Reach Highest Amount Since Late May

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — With gas prices up to its highest amount since May 27, more commuters are leaving their cars at home and opting to take public transportation.

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The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Tuesday, increasing 1.2 cents to $4.08.

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The average price has increased 15 consecutive days and 27 times in 28 days and is 19.4 cents more than one week ago, 34.3 cents higher than a month ago and 51.6 cents greater than a year ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The average price has spiked 33.8 cents over the past 28 days, including 1 cent on Monday.

Riding the train, rather than driving, keeps commuter Rick Jacob's wallet from feeling so thin.

"I'm going to San Bernardino," he said. "So if I were driving there, it would cost me about 60 bucks. But taking the train is gonna make it more economical -- less than 20."

Taking the bus has more fans now, too, since gas prices began flirting with $4 a gallon.

"My car gets 24 miles per gallon," commuter Chris Serra said. "So by the time I go from my house -- I live in La Crescenta -- to LA, it's about that mileage. Instead of paying $5 per gallon, I'd rather just pay the $1.50 for the bus ride."

Analysts say increasing oil prices and the closure of some California refineries for maintenance are to blame for the rising prices.

Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, according to Tupper Hull of the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing oil companies in six western states.

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