Costco opened its new gas bar Wednesday afternoon with the price of regular four cents cheaper than other St. John's pumps. Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram
A St. John's councillor says the city will keep an eye on any traffic problems which may arise on Stavanger Drive from Costco's opening of its new gas bar.
The gas began flowing for Costco members - regular at 124.9 cents per litre, four cents less than most other pumps in town, and 130.9 for premium - on Wednesday afternoon at Costco's Stavanger Drive location.
Coun. Sandy Hickman expressed concern earlier this month that deep discounts would snarl traffic in the area.
"We did approve it because it certainly is an appropriate use for Costco, and they do it nationally, and council has no problem with that; it fits all the regulations," he said Wednesday afternoon.
"I did express a concern that it's located in the back of the lot as opposed to out front where traffic would flow more easily off the internal roadway system."
Hickman said the four-cent difference meant that he's "not so panicked" as he was about long lineups when he thought Costco gas would be discounted by 10 cents. "At this point we'll be keeping an eye on things and we'll give it some time and see how it goes before we do anything drastic or even discuss it at this point," he said.
Local media inquiries were directed to a Costco representative in Ottawa.
Ron Damiani, Costco spokesman, said the store is keeping gas slightly cheaper by not accepting Visa and Mastercard, which means it doesn't have to pay fees to credit-card companies for transactions. They're also offering just two grades of gasoline - no mid-grade - and no diesel.
"The fact that we only carry two ... grades of gasoline means that there's that much less infrastructure and investment," he said.
Damiani said he didn't know what council's concerns were.
"We do extensive amounts of traffic studies, and I'm sure the city does extensive amounts of traffic studies to be able to properly evaluate what the impacts are going to be," he said.
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