Rising Gas Prices Cost D.C. Convoy Truckers Over $210 in Fuel Daily

Soaring gas prices across the nation are costing truckers in the People's Convoy 25 percent more than the protesters had anticipated when the group was gearing up to drive across the country to protest COVID mandates.

An evaluation from Newsweek estimated that truckers are spending nearly $210 in fuel to drive to and from, as well as block off, the Capital Beltway. When the convoy was being planned a month ago, the average price of diesel fuel was over $1.30 per gallon less than the current price.

The People's Convoy, which is based on Canada's Freedom Convoy —which occupied Ottawa for 24 days and cut off major supply routes to the U.S., set off to protest for the fifth day in a row on Thursday, driving from its staging area in Hagerstown, Maryland to the beltway.

According to the convoy's website, the truckers are driving from the Hagerstown Speedway to the beltway via I-70 and I-720—a trip that is roughly 67 miles each way.

People's Convoy Protest Gas Prices
An evaluation from Newsweek estimated that truckers are spending nearly $210 on fuel a day. Supporters cheer as they greet the People's Convoy of truckers as it arrives at the Hagerstown Speedway on March 4, 2022 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Drew Angerer/Getty

As of Sunday, the group planned to complete two laps around the 64-mile beltway as part of their demonstration each day, bringing the total miles traveled for the protest to 262 miles.

The average semi-trailer gets about 6.5 miles per gallon, meaning each truck will need to use 40.3 gallons each day that the convoy runs their route.

This week, gas prices in Maryland reached the highest recorded average price, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In Hagerstown, where the People's Convoy is staged, one gallon of diesel is running drivers $5.256—costing truckers nearly $212 for two laps around the beltway and the trip there and back from Hagerstown.

Just a month ago, when the convoy was getting ready to embark across the country to demand all pandemic-restrictions be lifted, diesel cost about $3.895 a gallon, which would have brought the total cost of the truckers' daily trips to $156.97—three-quarters of what they're paying now.

Local outlets in Maryland report that people are driving out of their way and waiting in hour-long lines for slightly cheaper gas in other counties.

"We've been in the line for an hour — that's what I'm willing to do to get the cheapest gas," Nettina Ligo told WBAL-TV on Wednesday.

Maryland's average fuel prices are not far off from the national cost. As of Thursday, the national average is $4.318 per gallon, according to AAA. In Maryland, the cost is $4.302 a gallon.

Despite the increase in costs, the convoy's drivers do not seem deterred in continuing to meet with lawmakers over their concerns.

In a Facebook post, protest organizers said that Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, was onsite in Hagerstown on Thursday morning and planned to ride in the convoy's lead truck when the group circled the beltway later in the day.

Newsweek reached out to the People's Convoy for comment but did not hear back before publication.