High gas prices push some to public transit
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The national average is now at $3.75 a gallon for regular unleaded. Here in the Valley, it's even higher. The average price for regular unleaded is $4.21 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
Because of those high prices, many people are finding mass transit is a cheaper way to go.
Most everyone is feeling that pain at the pump. People are getting creative -- doing what they can to stay out of the driver's seat.
"When I was 17 learning to drive gas was 18 cents," said frequent train rider Dan Rule.
It's been a long time since gas prices were well under a dollar. Dan says that these days mass transit makes sense.
"It costs 40 dollars from Bakersfield to Hanford and back. I can't drive there... It takes me 68 bucks to fill up my van and I can go 40 buck back and forth from Bakersfield to Hanford."
Amtrak officials don't have specific numbers just yet, but they admit, they anticipate their rider-ship is up. Way up.
Ralph Fairbanks has been out of work since November and can no longer afford to drive to job interviews. "The gas prices have spiked so high that its cheaper to ride the train than it is to drive a car up here. And I can catch the bus and get to where I need to be in 30 minutes. So there's no point in driving."
Speaking of the bus, people in the Central Valley say they're more crowded these days with people who have alternative sources of travel. "Gas man. Gas is too much. Across the street its 4.19, down the street its 4.29," said bus rider Philip Martinez.
The transportation director for "FAX" tells said that they don't have tallies just yet, but ridership has been steady for quite a while.
As for those who remain behind the wheel AAA's district manager Jose Plascencia says he's noticed a trend in how people drive. "If you're going to do an errand, consolidate your errands into one drive rather than go across town and back. Take care of everything in one fell swoop and minimize your miles on your car that way."
Some other tips from AAA Should you decide to stay in the driver's seat:
- Keep your car maintained
- Check your tire pressure
- Take excess belongings out of your trunk
Believe it or not, it makes a difference in your mileage.
gas prices, consumer
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