H-SANTA MARIA

Oct 8, 2012 9:34 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Some locals turn to public transportation amid gas price hike

The high cost of gas prompted people to change their driving habits.

From carpooling, to riding the bus, some people are doing whatever they can do to avoid spending money at the pump.

Santa Maria Transit said, so far, they haven't seen any big increase in their numbers of riders; neither has San Luis Obispo Transit.

Alexandria Rodriguez usually doesn't take the bus. But with the rise in gas prices, she had no other choice. "I'm like, yeah, let's take the bus. It's a lot cheaper. So I'm going to be taking the bus a lot," said Rodriguez of Santa Maria.

Melissa Pipersburg always turns to public transportation. "I don't drive because I mean, it's just not affordable," said Pipersburg of Santa Maria.

Because Pipersburg doesn't have a car, she doesn't pay attention to the prices at the pump.

"That's crazy. Four something for a gallon of gas? That's insane," added Pipersburg.

"The price of gas and inusrance and one thing after another, you know, limited income. It's impossible to have a car," said Beth Green, a resident of Santa Maria.

For Green, it's either the bus or catching a ride with her daughter. "I hear her complain all the time about gas prices. I can't imagine paying that much for a gallon of milk," added Green.

Since Friday, Green said she's seen more people on the bus. She assumed it's because of the cost of gas. "Depending on the time of day and stuff, you see a lot more people. What are you going to do about it?" said Green.

So for Rodriquez, if these gas prices don't go down soon, she'll become a regular on the bus. "I remember when $20, $30 used to fill your car up and now it's more so it's just, so I'm going to stick with the bus," said Rodriguez.

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