Gas-saving programs offered to students

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

As the price of gas continues to rise, local schools are offering students and staff ways to save at the pump.

According to TRIPLE A, the average price per gallon of gas in Fresno is $4.35. That's compared to $3.98 last year.

No matter where you shop for gas these days, the so-called pain at the pump, isn't getting any easier.

Jenn Babin is a student at Institute of Technology in Clovis. She lives in the Tower District, and doesn't have her own car.

That's where fellow classmate, Kenn Jones comes in. As part of the school's ride share program, he picks jenn up at her Tower District home four days a week, and takes her to campus. In return, he receives a 35 dollar gas card -- every five weeks -- paid for by the school.

Kenn Jones said, "You know, it supplements and it really helps because like I said, going to school and being just a part-time worker, and a full time student, money is tight as it is."

The Institute of Technology's ride-share program started two years ago, during a similar spike in gas prices. Since last month, ridership has grown from 34 students to 58. Campus president, Joe Haydock credits the program for helping people save, and encouraging them to attend class.

Joe Haydock said, "The ability for a student to get to school is absolutely essential for the student to learn and get good grades. We're so committed to our students' retention. That's why we started this program."

Students aren't the only ones taking advantage of similar programs. Fresno State employee Josh Edrington carpools from Atwater five days a week using the university's staff commuter program. In return, he gets "rideshare scrip", which can be used to buy food and supplies on campus.

Josh Edrington said, "If you have somebody else, you're cutting your gas bill in half and the more people you have the more you're cutting your bill down."

We checked with other Valley schools, UC Merced for example, has a carpool program.

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