The MATBUS has been making extra laps while people search for a cheaper way to get around the city

Higher than normal gas prices have hit the valley and that means the MATBUS has been kicking it into overdrive to keep up with the trend. During a time when fewer people are driving their personal vehicles and more people are looking for a cheaper ride.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Filling up your car’s gas tank is increasingly emptying your wallet.

Today in Fargo, prices range from $3.65 at Costco to $3.89 at Holiday so some have turned to public transportation during these hard times.

“Historically we do see an uptick in rider-ship when gas prices increase, obviously it becomes more economical to take public transit than it does to fill up the gas tank in your car,” said assistant transit director at MATBUS Jordan Smith.

Smith recalls the last time gas prices looked this way was back in 2008 when the transit system experienced around a 12% increase in bus riders.

Following that trend, about six weeks ago when gas prices began rising, MATBUS saw about 19% more people in their bus seats.

“Trends up when gas prices also go up,” he said.

Although the city buses are becoming a bit more full, there’s still room for people celebrating St. Patrick’s day.

Smith says holidays don’t typically draw people to the buses but driving sober should be a priority.

“These people that are dying in motor vehicle crashes that involve alcohol every year, they are our friends, they’re our coworkers, they’re our family,” said safety public information program manager Lauren Bjork.

If the bus isn’t your speed, a Vision Zero program called ND Sober Ride is offering $10 off of your Lyft ride starting from today to Monday.

“Impaired driving crashes are 100% preventable,” she said.

You can use code “VZMARCH1″ to get that voucher taken off your ride so there are safe options for a fun weekend.

“You are more than welcome to board any bus to get to where you need to be if you find yourself in the position where you can’t drive,” Smith said.

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