More People Are Riding Instead of Driving

SporTran officials say people are now taking 15,000 more rides a month on SporTran buses and the high prices might be the reason why.
Gene Eddy the manager at SporTran says, "we're seeing new people coming up to our customer service windows and there asking questions about routes. They're asking about maps, they're learning about the system. There are new riders."
Bus riders say they're definitely saving even though they take the bus out of necessity rather than choice.
Nicole Turner says she doesn't have a car but riding the bus is still more cost efficient than filling up. "It helps on the gas prices because it costs $1.25 just to ride the bus and for gas it's like $3 and something so it's better."
Sandee Hathcox a fellow bus rider agrees, "I ride the bus about $10 a week and I'd say gas it'll probably run me about $30 a week so add it up for the month that's quite a bit of money."
But for those paying at the pump, they say the rising cost of filling up is taking them for a ride but not far enough to put them on public transportation.
June Bolch says, "well it seems a little bit ridiculous but what can you do about it if you're gonna go and drive and do business so you have to pay the price."
Amy Futch says she'd rather drive than get on a bus. "Possibly. If I lived close enough where I wouldn't have to ride very long, I don't, I don't know how I really feel about the bus right now." Melvin Sloan would also rather drive. "No, I have too many things to do to ride the bus."
Still, officials say when it comes down to dollars and cents the bus is the way to go.
Eddy says, "it's a real good alternative especially for someone who is on a fixed income or someone who has a schedule that they can count on and know that they're going to be riding it the same way everyday."
Story by Tania Francois