Tucson’s public transportation has a game plan amid high gas prices

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Everyone is feeling the pain with these higher gas prices. But Tucson’s transit systems aren’t panicking and have a game plan in place.

“We’re in a better position than most transit stations in the country,” said City of Tucson Transit Administrator Rhett Crowninshield.

Of course, no one expected gas prices to skyrocket like this. Half of the Sun Tran buses run on diesel.

We have been hit hard by the fact that diesel costs over $4 a gallon and we are used to paying $2.50 a gallon… We have about 237 diesel buses.

But Crowninshield told KOLD News 13 Allie Potter that they are one step ahead of the game. Half of their fleet uses compressed natural gas.

“In May, we will have around 106 CNG and also 10 electric buses.”

What Crowninshield said is very profitable.

“Our CNG price is closer to $1 a gallon.”

The passenger can ride Sun Tran buses and Sun Link trams for free. Potter asked Crowninshield if it’s going to go away due to gas prices.

“It’s been throughout the financial year {June 30} so far,” Crowninshield said.

He added that it was up to Mayor Regina Romero and the city council if these free rides continued.

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”

Potter asked Crowninshield if Sun Tran’s ridership had increased since the gas price hike.

He said, it’s too early to tell.

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