Some Iowans are coping with the latest gasoline price hike by hopping on public transportation. Longer lines are appearing at bus stops in Omaha and Council Bluffs. Curt Simon is the executive director of Metro, the bus line which serves both cities. He says they’re seeing a healthy bump in ridership.
Simon says, “Our passenger traffic is up about 13-percent compared to last year at the same time.” Metro is not planning to increase fares, at least not yet, as Simon says they planned ahead to keep costs under control and to keep fares stable and affordable.
He says, “We did lock in a fuel contract late last year and that runs through August of this year so we’re in pretty good shape.” The website Gasbuddy.com is reporting the price of gas could climb between five and 20-cents a gallon over the next several days.
Simon says he’s not sure if the spike in gas prices is the reason why more people are taking the bus, but ridership is certainly on the rise. “We are already seeing some of that,” he says. “I don’t know if we can directly attribute all of it to high fuel prices but clearly that’s a pretty motivating factor.”
Simon says Metro adjusted some of its routes and time schedules to accommodate more riders.