As gas prices rise, more people take the bus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

As gas prices rise, more people take the bus

March 21, 2006

Albany--Gas prices are up again, the nationwide average is more than $2.50 a gallon. That's a price many drivers aren't willing to pay.

Gas is fifty cents more than it was last year. To save money, many of you are now car pooling, and some are paying a small fee to let someone else do the driving for them.

But even the cost of a bus ride could soon go up.

$2.44, and $2.59, with higher gas prices Albany's bus system is keeping busy.

"It went back up, so they started back riding the bus," says bus rider Shon Wimbish.

And they're riding the bus in large numbers. Shon Wimbish now rides the bus everyday.

"It's expensive to keep gas in your car and go everywhere you want to go, so the bus is easier and it's cheaper," she says.

In fact, a lot cheaper, a trip one-way will cost you just seventy-five cents on most routes, in some cases just eighty-five cents.

"Eighty-five cents beats $2.49, $2.50 for a gallon of gas," says bus rider, Willie Harvey. He uses the Albany transit system daily. He prefers to let someone else do the driving.

"You pay about eighty-five cents and get a transfer and you can go just about anywhere you want to go, even though you might have to walk a couple of blocks over," she says.

"You're saving a lot by riding the bus," says bus rider, Michelle Hogge. She pays twenty-two dollars for a monthly bus pass that gets her pretty much anywhere within the city.

She says the monthly fee is worth it, considering what most drivers pay weekly in gas.

"Most other vehicles you're putting thirty, forty dollars in it," she says.

Since the hike in gas prices, seats remain constantly full.

"You hardly have no seats at all," says Hogge. And as gas prices remain above two dollars, seats may stay full for quite some time.

And just as gas prices rise, so could the city's transit fares. On April 25th, city commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to increase the cost of riding the city bus. The hike, if approved, would take affect in July.

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