The average price of gasoline in the United States yesterday exceeded five dollars a gallon for the first time in history.

The AAA automobile club reported that the average price yesterday exceeded five dollars by a fraction of a penny. In some parts of the country, especially California, motorists are paying much more than that. The national median price is up 19 cents in the past week, and is up $1.93 from this time last year. The high cost is taking its toll on those who need their vehicles to make a living.

Things were bad enough for taxi driver Joseph Pierre when it cost him $25 to fill his tank. He now pays 40 or 45 dollars.

“I’m losing money because some passengers I pick up don’t care about that, they don’t tip you,” Pierre said Saturday as he refueled at a BP gas station in Brooklyn.

Katisha Thompson, who paid $79 for 13 gallons of premium gas at the same station, said the price is “getting excessive.”

“It’s a lot, especially when you’re trying to feed a family,” he said. “And it’s not just gasoline. They are edible, everything is going up.”

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