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Unrest in the Middle East, tumbling stock markets, and rising oil prices. It's all adding up to paying more at the pumps. And for those living near the poverty level, rising gasoline prices are a big hit to the household budget: "Nobody adjusts your gas price based on your income. Your gas price is fixed and as it goes up it takes up a greater proportion of your income and there's less income to take up when you're a low income family. In rural communities, it's a particular problem because you don't have a cheap alternative. You drive a car or you don't go. You don't have public transportation; you can necessarily get on board and that's an advantage that those in more urban areas have."   Scott Cooper is with the Partnership to End Poverty. He says about 41% of the absences of low income people from work is related to transportation issues. He says many times people living in poverty have older cars that break down more often. On average in Bend, gasoline prices are $3.32. 

 

 

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