H-SANTA MARIA

Mar 8, 2012 11:03 PM by Nikki Ibarra

High gas prices forces locals to take the bus

As gas prices remain high, some people on the Central Coast are now finding ways to avoid those trips to the gas pump.

According to AAA, the national average cost of a gallon of unleaded gas is $3.75.

Here in California, things are a lot higher. On average, a gallon of unleaded costs $4.34. In San Luis Obispo County, the average amount for unleaded is $4.40. In Santa Barbara County, it's a little more at $4.42.

"Getting around town is a lot easier on the bus," said Kyle Faulkner of Gaviota.

Kyle Faulkner is new to the bus system. He had to stop driving his truck, which got 14 miles to the gallon. Now, he's a regular at the bus stop. "Filling up my gas tank, I've got other things that I need to do. Paying bills, paying off, you know, certain things," said Faulkner.

But he's not the only one who's gotten rid of their ride. "No more cars for me," said June Anderson of Santa Maria.

June Anderson got rid of her car all together. She says riding the bus is more affordable.

According to the American Public Transportation Association, taking the bus could save you up to $1,200 a month.

"I did the math and I realized, you know, it's actually cheaper just to pay the $1.25 or a dollar if you're a student and ride the bus," said Jasper Morse of Orcutt.

For a regular monthly pass on the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit, it will cost you $60. To ride the Santa Maria Area Transit, it's $40; which fits perfectly in Kyle Faulkner's new budget.

"I've been able to do more things. I've been able to go more places now that I'm not spending my money on gas," said Faulkner.

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